Wellington Phoenix release Barbarouses

Kosta Barbarouses Source: Getty Images

Wellington Phoenix have agreed to release striker Kosta Barbarouses, following what the A-League club describes as a difficult 12 months off the field.

General manager David Dome said the All White striker had approached Phoenix management asking for a release from the second year of his contract for reasons not pertaining to football.

Dome said while he was initially disappointed, he understood Barbarouses' position.

"It's not a decision we have made lightly, 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.

"As much as we could have dug our heels in, the best thing for all parties concerned is an amicable termination.

"Kosta departs with the very best wishes of everyone at the football club."

Barbarouses, who began his career with the Phoenix in 2007, re-signed with the club last year on a two-year deal from Melbourne Victory, where he scored 19 goals in 81 appearances across all competitions.

After a patchy beginning to the season, Barbarouses found form to finish with five goals from 25 appearances.

He said on Monday the decision to leave was difficult.

"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."

Barbarouses said he'd come to Wellington wanting to help the Phoenix to an A-League title, and it had been frustrating not to achieve that.

"Wellington Phoenix gave me my first start in professional football.

"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."

Dome said it was disappointing to lose a player of Barbarouses' pedigree.

"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."

Source: AAP