Big Blue bargain: Barbarouses signs for Sydney FC
Sydney FC have made the standout signing of the Hyundai A-League off-season so far and fuelled the flames of next campaign's Big Blue rivalry by signing Melbourne Victory star Kosta Barbarouses.
Kiwi forward Barbarouses has agreed terms with the Sky Blues on a "multi-year" deal and becomes the club’s first arrival after Sydney’s Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final win over Perth Glory last month.
The 29-year-old’s signature is a major coup for Sydney boss Steve Corica in his quest to defend the side's 2018/19 Championship.
“I’m very happy to be signing for Sydney FC as it’s a club I’ve heard so many great things about,” Barbarouses said.
“They’ve had some extraordinary success in recent times and I want to be here to help continue that.
“I’ve no doubt this is a special organisation to be a part of with incredible values and a club first, family culture mentality.
"I like to have the expectation on me of winning football games and winning trophies and after speaking with Steve [Corica] and the club it became very clear to me very fast that this is where I wanted to be.
It was a really easy decision, I was really eager to get here. I want to win trophies and I want to be a big part of a big team and this is exactly what it is."
Barbarouses – who burst onto the Hyundai A-League scene in 2007 as a jet-heeled 17-year-old for Wellington Phoenix – joins the Harbour City club after his most prolific campaign to date.
The New Zealand international has generally operated as a nominal winger through his career, but was deployed in a central role last term, accompanied by Swedish import Ola Toivonen, and delivered a return of 15 goals.
In January, he notched his maiden Hyundai A-League hat-trick against former employers Brisbane Roar – with whom he won the Premiership and Championship double in 2010/11 – and finished the campaign sixth on the competition’s all-time goalscorers list with 60.
Either side of a one-season cameo back at Phoenix in 2016/17, Barbarouses spent five campaigns in Melbourne after penning an original three-year deal at the club in August 2013 following overseas ventures with Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz and Greek heavyweights Panathinaikos.
He won the 2015 FFA Cup and 2014/15 Premiership with the Victory and scored in the club’s 2015 and 2018 Grand Final wins over Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets respectively.
Having consigned Sydney to defeat in that final four years ago, he will now concentrate on helping his new club retain their Championship when the new campaign kicks-off in October.
“Kosta is an extremely good footballer and is highly regarded as one of the best strikers in Australia,” Sky Blues boss Corica said.
“He is hungry for success which fits perfectly into our culture at Sydney FC. There’s no doubt he improves our squad and we are absolutely delighted to have him on board.”