New Zealand footballer Kosta Barbarouses has signed with Sydney FC after departing A-League rivals Melbourne Victory.
The A-League club announced on Friday the 29-year-old forward would be joining the Sky Blues from the 2019-20 season.
“He’s very fast, he scores goals. I think he’s going to be very exciting for our fans to watch as well,” head coach Steve Corica said.
Barbarouses had two stints with Victory, making 161 appearances and scoring 51 goals across 2013-16 and 2017-19.
“After a couple of conversations I’ve had with Kosta I knew he was the right person to lead the attacking line this season,” Corica said.
“He’s a great guy. When we look at players first and foremost we look for people who fit into the culture of the club. He definitely does.”
Barbarouses, who put the decision aside until the season was over, said he saw it as a fresh challenge.
“The challenge of defending the championship is very appealing to me,” he said.
“As soon as I found out that a great club like Sydney wanted me to play for the club it was a really easy decision and I was really eager to get here,” he said.
“I want to win trophies and I want to be a big part of a big team.”
When asked about leaving Victory for its well-known rival he said he was prepared for some people to be angry about his decision.
“It was a tough decision to leave in general, that’s football, that happens. I’ve had really good success there. The fans treated me really well,” he said.
“There’s going to be some obvious backlash to that but most people will understand and everyone will move on.”
He said he’s not fazed about the pressure to score goals.
“I like the pressure, I like the expectation on me. Looking back I’ve performed better when there is expectation and pressure on me,” he said.
He and his wife Tara are expecting a baby in September which was another reason behind the decision.
“I could see myself and my family here for the next three years,” he said.
His time with Melbourne Victory includes the historic domestic treble season in 2014-15, in which the forward proved crucial to Victory’s A-League Premiership, Championship and FFA Cup title wins.
He also scored the winning goal in the 2017-18 Grand Final against Newcastle Jets to secure a fourth championship for the club.