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Barbarouses returns to Phoenix in ALM

Decorated A-League Men winger Kosta Barbarouses has signed a two-year deal with Wellington Phoenix, aiming to deliver his hometown club their maiden championship.

The 32-year-old has signed on for a third time at Wellington, where he started his career in 2007 and also had a short-lived stint in 2016-2017.

Barbarouses has claimed four A-League Men championships at Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC, three premierships and an Australia Cup.

The New Zealand international said winning a grand final for Wellington would cap off his career.

“That’s a big career-long dream of mine,” Barbarouses said.

“I’d love to do it.

“We came close when I was a kid the first time around but, given I didn’t play too much, I didn’t feel too much a part of that. I’d love to be as involved as I will be over the next couple of years and bring a title home.

“We’ve got a great chance and I think the boys have grown a lot over the last couple of years. What they’ve sacrificed and been through I think it’s going to hold us in good stead.

“I’ve got no doubt we’re going to work hard to achieve that and if we can do it, I will be fulfilled career-wise.”

The Phoenix made the finals last season being predominantly based in Australia due to pandemic travel restrictions and are set for their first campaign back full-time in New Zealand in three years.

Coach Ufuk Talay expected Barbarouses, who has scored 80 goals in 270 ALM games, to give the Phoenix the edge they needed to kick on towards silverware.

“It’s very important to have players that have experience winning titles, lived it, and know what it takes to get to that point,” Talay said.

“I think he’ll be very valuable in that sense for our younger players.”

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