5 Jun 2017

Barbarouses to leave the Phoenix a year early

11:31 am on 5 June 2017

The Wellington Phoenix football club has agreed to the release of All White Kosta Barbarouses from the last year of his contract.

Wellington Phoenix striker Kosta Barbarouses.

Wellington Phoenix striker Kosta Barbarouses. Photo: Photosport

Following a difficult 12 months off the field, the striker approached Phoenix management asking for a release for personal reasons.

Wellington GM David Dome was initially disappointed but said that he understood Barbarouses' position.

"It's not a decision we have made lightly," said Dome, "especially after the back end to the season that Kosta had."

"But it's never been our policy as a club to stand in the way of a player's happiness, or the happiness of those dear to him, and as much as we could have dug our heels in, the best thing for all parties concerned is an amicable termination.

"Obviously it's disappointing to lose a player of Kosta's pedigree - he's exactly the type of character we want to attract to this football club. But every door closing is a door opening and we remain confident the squad we are currently assembling will have Wellington very much in the mix for finals football."

In a joint statement Wellington Phoenix said it was grateful for Barbarouses professional attitude and paid tribute to his work within the community.

For Barbarouses, it was a position reached after considerable reflection.

"Wellington Phoenix gave me my first start in professional football', said Barbarouses, "there are so many people at this club that I am especially grateful to, and I guess that's something that's made this decision a lot harder."

"People forget sometimes that there are more factors involved than just football. Behind every player are a lot of people making sacrifices - I've been fortunate to enjoy tremendous support, so sometimes you have to think about others and consider their needs.

"I came home wanting to win a championship for Wellington and New Zealand but obviously that hasn't happened. It's frustrating it hasn't all come together for me at this time, but you never know what's round the corner in football - maybe under better circumstances we still can."

Kosta Barbarouses made 25 appearances and scored five goals in his second spell with the club, and had one year left to run on his two-year contract with Wellington Phoenix.

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