Kosta keen to kick on

Brisbane Roar striker Kosta Barbarouses is eager to face his former club Wellington Phoenix tomorrow night, but has declared it just another opportunity for his team to secure three points.

Brisbane Roar striker Kosta Barbarouses is eager to face his former club Wellington Phoenix tomorrow night, but has declared it just another opportunity for his team to secure three points.

At 17 years old, Barbarouses was the youngest player signed in Wellington Phoenix-s foundation squad back in 2007 and played 21 games for the club, scoring two goals.

Joining the Roar on a three year deal in February, he has already pitted himself against his old side when the clubs met in a pre-season friendly in Hamilton last month.

With the game ending 2-1 in favour of the New Zealand side, Barbarouses said he was excited at the prospect of regaining the bragging rights against his former teammates.

“It-s a special game for me, it stands out against the rest of the games but it-s just another game at the end of the day for Brisbane Roar and another one that we want to win,” Barbarouses said.

“They-re set up very well I think, their structure and they know their strengths and probably their weaknesses as well.

“But I also think we-ve been playing some good football and we-ll be confident that we-ll get three points.”

Barbarouses has already scored one goal in Roar colours, the 20-year-old slotting home against English Premier League side Everton in the pre-season Queensland Roars Against Racism clash – the only goal the Toffees conceded on their Australian tour.

Without a goal in the Hyundai A-League just yet, Barbarouses said he-s not feeling the pressure.

“I want to score goals, that-s my main aim,” he said.

“It-s only been two rounds so to score on Friday night would be good, but even then there-s no pressure.

“As long as the team is winning and I can contribute to that, like I think I did on Saturday, then hopefully the goals will come.”

After just missing out on the New Zealand-s World Cup squad, the Wellington-born striker said he was looking to show Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert, who also doubles as All Whites mentor, that he is worthy to be picked for the upcoming friendlies against Honduras and Paraguay in October.

“That-s obviously my goal in my career and with anyone else is to get as many international caps as you can,” he said.

“This is obviously an important year for me and with Ricki coming over, it-s something I want to do, play well and hopefully national call ups will come.”

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou said it was a big game for Barbarouses, and was pleased with the way he has contributed to the team play so far this season.

“I think a lot of people forget he-s only twenty years old and he-s done a fantastic job leading our line,” Postecoglou said.

“It-s a pretty important role in our set up, playing that central striker, and we-ve put a lot on his shoulders as a twenty year old.

“I don-t think he-ll be feeling any added pressure and if he continues doing the job he-s been doing for us, I-m sure he will keep improving.”

Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
Friday, 27 August 2010
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Local kick-off: 8.00pm AEST
Chris Beath

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD & on Sky Sports 2.

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. HENRIQUE, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VICSCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, Andrew REDMAYNE, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
*one to be omitted*

In: 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (returns from injury), 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE (promoted)

Out: 5. Ivan FRANJIC (quad strain – 1-2 weeks), 18. Luke BRATTAN (illness – 1 week)

Unavailable: 9. Jean Carlo SOLORZANO (awaiting ITC)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 10. Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER
*one to be omitted*

In: Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted), Danny VUKOVIC (gk, new signing)

Out: Griffin McMASTER (gk, omitted)

Unavailable: Diego WALSH (knee – 3 weeks), Jade NORTH (overseas – 2 weeks), Reece CROWTHER (gk, ribs – 7 weeks)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 9): Brisbane Roar 5 wins, Wellington Phoenix 1 win (3 draws)

Tickets available here.

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