Melbourne Victory forward Kosta Barbarouses goes 1v1 with the PFA to discuss the season to date, the ups and downs and his hunger to bring more success to the club.

Q. Last season you finished just short of where you would liked to have been, what was the feeling like amongst the players when you returned for pre-season?

KB: We had a bit of disrupted season last year with Ange leaving. At times we looked like we were going to get there but we were perhaps just a little inconsistent and at the end of the day we feel a bit short. This year we started work on the 1st of June and it was a 15 week pre-season and sometimes it is tough to keep everyone motivated all the way through but I think this year the coaching staff did really well to do that. We all used last year as motivation. When you look back to pre-season you realise how far we have come and want to keep going because you realise how close you are to doing something special.

Q. The first game of the season saw you make an electric start, did that set the bar for the club and for yourself personally?

KB: Every pre-season I have had, in Europe or in the A-League, as well as you do in the pre-season you don’t really know where you are until you play that first game for points. The first game is always very important and we hit the ground running, scoring early and that gave us a lot of confidence and set us up.

Q. There have been points during the season, where the pitch has come under criticism, what impact do you think this had had on these games?

KB: You think about it during the week, but you don’t really know what exactly it is going to be like until you get to the ground. After the match you realise just how much better the game could have been if it was on a better pitch especially for a team like us. We have had three games of this season on poor surfaces and they could have been match better games.

Q. With the changes at Melbourne City has that given the derby an extra edge?

KB: The derbies have been superb this year, they have grown a lot. I have played in a lot of big derbies in my career, I have played in the Panathinaikos and Olympiakos match, in their stadiums where none of our fans were there, even compared to that they are just amazing. They are a mark of how far the game has come here and the atmosphere is just unbelievable and the rivalry will only grow.

Q. Does it feel different preparing for a derby to a normal match?

KB: We go about our week and try to make it as normal as possible but in the back of your mind you know that these are the games that the fans care about the most. The great thing here is that football is not a matter of life or death, people want to see you working hard and doing your best for the team and that is all they ask for.

Q. With the season’s end fast approaching have the players been speaking about the opportunity for success?

KB: We have spoken about it a bit recently. We don’t want to be two or three games away from the finals and think back to this point and think if we had just won this game we would have been finishing here or whatever, we have to be proactive and realise the opportunity we have and take it and that will set us up well for the remainder of the season.

Q. When the Victory have been at their best there has been a real intensity to their play, is that something you work hard on at training?

KB: All the way through the pre-season we worked on the way we wanted to play with and without the ball, even on a weekly basis at least a couple times a week we work on structure for the weekend. The first couple of days after the game we try to freshen everyone up and the rest is getting the structure right.

Q. There is an extremely professional atmosphere that surrounds the players at the club, is that something you noticed as soon as you came to the Victory?

KB: We have got quite a young bunch of boys in the team and the A-League is growing really quickly and I think the boys from a young age are now realising what a great opportunity they have to put their best foot forward and doing everything possible to take their chance.

Q. You have won the Championship before with the Roar, how much would it mean to you to have the same success this season with the Victory?

KB: It would be massive, the last Championship I won was in 2011 and that is a bit too long between titles for me and hopefully I can help the team to go all the way and I know that all the players are doing their best and I think especially on the club’s 10 year anniversary, if we do manage to win it we will be remembered for a long time to come.


Each week the PFA will go 1v1 with a member to gain an insight into the lives of professional footballers on and off the pitch.

Image by Chad Gibson/Local FC,