Milestone match for Phoenix favourite

Wellington Phoenix winger Kosta Barbarouses will play his 300th A-League game against Melbourne.

Wellington Phoenix wing Kosta Barbarouses will bring up 300 A-League games against familiar opposition on Friday.

Barbarouses will mark the milestone against his former club, Melbourne Victory, where he spent five seasons.

The 33-year-old said there would be no animosity among his old team-mates.

“I have great memories of Melbourne, I was at the club for five years and it was a very successful five years. It’s funny how the stars managed to be there and at a great stadium like AMI park and I got it. a lot of family friends will be there too so a good time, I think.”

Barbarouses said he believed he had plenty of football left in his career.

“It’s not something you really focus on, you just try to give yourself the best chance to have a long career and I think I’ve done that and I’m really happy with the achievement I think more more so it will be something to watch. back at and be proud of but I’m still going and still have goals to achieve.”

Phoenix were unbeaten after three games while Melbourne achieved the same record of two wins and a final.

Midfielder Bozhidar Kraev gave a little behind-the-scenes detail on his strong start to the season.

Kraev said he felt more free to express himself on and off the field.

“Really positive the first three games. I don’t think it’s just one particular reason but there is good communication between us and everyone is positive who plays a big role at the moment.”

He said despite a strong start, the side were not looking ahead.

“It has to be like step by step. Game by game and it wasn’t really focused on May or April. Just week by week, month by month, slowly and as we get closer to the playoffs, then it’s time to do reviews and analyze them. everything.”

Meanwhile, the Phoenix women will play their first game at their new home this weekend, Jerry Collins Stadium.

The team have also had a great start to the season, picking up two wins and a loss to sit third in the table ahead of Sunday’s game against Western United.

Phoenix forward Emma Main said the closer ground will benefit the players.

“As a smaller venue, it’s going to be great to really get the crowd going, we’ll be able to have them closer to us and we’ll be able to hear them more so the atmosphere is there. I hope for a little more roaring.”

Defendant Hailey Davidson agreed.

Phoenix celebrates Mariana Speckmaier's goal during the women's A-League win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Phoenix celebrates Mariana Speckmaier’s goal during the women’s A-League win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Photo: Photosport

“One of the main reasons we want to play there is to bring the community together and I think playing in a smaller stadium that packs a bit more would be a great energy for everyone.”

Davidson said she had high expectations for the club after making the move from the United States.

She said she expected strong competition following the success of the Football World Cup in Aotearoa and across the Tasman.

Davidson also praised the style implemented by coach Paul Temple.

“It’s very possession-oriented and I think it works for everyone so I love it. It’s fun and it’s fun to watch because I think too, it gets more better every week.”

Main said there was fierce competition within the squad and no one was accepting their position.

“It was great to start the three games but I think the most important thing is not to be complacent. There are a lot of great players, especially the forwards and the team so there is always competition while we are always fighting for our training spots.”

Main said his side were full of confidence heading into Sunday’s clash with Western United in Porirua.

“We’ve had a really good start to the season and going into the Western United game, we’re pretty confident that we’re really starting to come together and get the style of football we want, but there’s a lot to do work on it. .”

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