Below is a joint statement on behalf of both Wellington Phoenix and Kosta Barbarouses.
After much consideration Wellington Phoenix have consented to the release of Kosta Barbarouses.
Following a difficult twelve months off the field, the All White striker approached Phoenix management asking for a release for reasons not pertaining to football.
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.”
Kosta departs with the very best wishes of everyone at the football club, and Wellington Phoenix would like to place on record their gratitude for his professional attitude and demeanour both on and off the field and pay 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.