Barry and Barbarouses take top honours at Wellington Phoenix season awards

Mackenzie Barry and Kosta Barbarouses have claimed the supreme honours at the Wellington Phoenix season awards in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Barry and Barbarouses have been crowned the Spark and OPPO players of the year at the InterContinental Hotel following the women’s and men’s best-ever A-League regular seasons.

Barry, who was also named the women’s players’ player of the year, was a rock at the back for the Nix in her third A-League season, missing just two of the women’s 22 matches.

She became the first women’s player to play 50 matches for Wellington in the team’s final match of the season.

Mackenzie Barry … first player to make 50 first team appearances for the Phoenix women.

“I’m stoked. I’m a bit lost for words,” Barry said when asked how it feels to be the player of the year.

“I’m super proud of everyone in the team and I’m really happy to be receiving this award.

“It’s an amazing honour. Unexpected, but I’m really happy with it.”

Barbarouses led the record-breaking men’s team with 13 goals to claim the Golden Boot Award and was also named the men’s player of the year by the media.

It has been the 34-year-old’s second most prolific goalscoring season and he’s taken his career tally to 93, which is fourth all-time in the men’s A-League and the most by a New Zealander.

“I’m very, very proud,” Barbarouses said.

“I won this [player of the year] award last time I was here after a pretty disappointing season. It feels a lot better to do it when the team’s going well.

“I’m a proud Wellingtonian as well so it means…a hell of a lot to me to win this award. I just want to keep helping the club achieve what it deserves to achieve.”

Kosta Barbarouses … ‘a proud Wellingtonian.’ Photo credit: Natural Light Photography Company.

A number of other players were recognised for the roles they played in helping the women’s and men’s teams to their highest point tallies.

Academy graduates Macey Fraser and Alex Paulsen swept the members’ awards, named the under-23 and overall players of the year.

Members also voted Fraser’s stunning free-kick against Western United in round four the women’s goal of the season, while Paulsen’s peers named the young goalkeeper the men’s players’ player of the year.

Venezuela international Mariana Speckmaier received the women’s Golden Boot after finding the back of the net 10 times in her maiden A-League season, and she was also named the women’s player of the year by the media.

Mariana Speckaier …Golden Boot and media-elected women’s player of the year.

Attacking midfielder Ben Old collected the men’s goal of the season award for his thunderous strike against Adelaide United in round 19, and Ella McMillan and Lukas Kelly-Heald were named the academy players of the year.

Capping the night, chairman Rob Morrison announced general manager David Dome as the recipient of the Lloyd Morrison Spirit of the Phoenix award in recognition of his years of hard work and dedication to the club.

Morrison and Dome were also presented with special framed shirts by Capital Football diversity and inclusion officer Jess McFadyen for their support of the award-winning Football For All programme.

David Dome … recognised for years of hard work and dedication.

Wellington Phoenix 2023-24 season award winners

Fan of the year
Holly Eades

Volunteers of the year
Christoph Zintl & Jo Todd

Academy staff member of the year 
Chris Greenacre

Members’ under-23 players of the year
Macey Fraser & Alex Paulsen

Members’ players of the year
Macey Fraser & Alex Paulsen

Women’s goal of the year
Macey Fraser (Rd 4 vs Western United)

Men’s goal of the year 
Ben Old (Rd 19 vs Adelaide United)

Golden Boots 
Mariana Speckmaier (10) & Kosta Barbarouses (13)

Media players of the year 
Mariana Speckmaier & Kosta Barbarouses

Academy players of the year 
Ella McMillan & Lukas Kelly-Heald

Women’s players’ player of the year
Mackenzie Barry

Men’s players’ player of the year 
Alex Paulsen

Spark & OPPO women’s player of the year 
Mackenzie Barry

Spark & OPPO men’s player of the year 
Kosta Barbarouses

Lloyd Morrison Spirit of the Phoenix award 
David Dome

Watch Kosta Barbarouses interview

Watch Mackenzie Barry interview


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