Around the grounds: Barbarouses itching to make his Sky Blue debut

Kosta Barbarouses will pull on the Sky Blues jersey for the very first time tonight as champions Sydney FC begin their pre-season campaign at Leichhardt Oval.

The Sky Blues are taking on NSW NPL 3 outfit Dunbar Rovers, with coach Steve Corica set to give all of his new faces some game time.

Among those is Barbarouses, who made the switch from Big Blue rivals Melbourne Victory in June and is eager to get out on the pitch with his new club.

“It’s been a couple of months now since I last played a game, so it will be good to get those movements going again,” Barbarouses, 29, told Sydney FC’s official website.

“We’ve been working really hard at training with the ball and hopefully I will get a few goalscoring chances on Thursday and find the back of the net again which will be good for me.

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“I need some metres in the legs as there’s still a long way to go but it will be good to get a hit out and familiarise myself with my new team mates.”

The Sky Blues will then take on St. George in another pre-season clash next Tuesday before heading to China ahead of their glamour friendly against PSG on July 30.

Alex Baumjohann & Kosta Barbarouses In Sydney FC Training
Alex Baumjohann and Kosta Barbarouses are two of Sydney FC's key off-season signings

O’Doherty family feud brewing ahead of Leeds clash

It’s not often you would find your parents cheering for the club their child’s team is playing against but that will eb the case for Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Jordan O’Doherty on Saturday night.

O’Doherty’s Wanderers will play their first match at their new home at Bankwest Stadium against English Championship club Leeds United.

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While the O’Doherty family are now staunch Red and Black supporters during the Hyundai A-League season, they’ll be in Leeds’ corner come Saturday night.

“My mum’s side of the family and Leeds supporters, they’re from Yorkshire around Leeds,” said O’Doherty, who will miss the clash through injury.

“It will be great. All the family is coming over for the game…it’s unfortunate they can’t watch me play.

“Leeds fans are actually known for being one of the most vocal group of fans in the world, especially away, they’re known for having the best away support so no doubt they will be really loud.

“I’m really looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere, obviously I’ll be in the stands with all the fans so it will be really good to see all the Leeds fans out against the RBB and I hope that it’s a really loud spectacle.”

Phoenix youngsters share their experience

They are only at the start of their own career but three Wellington Phoenix youngsters are already serving as inspiration to New Zealand’s junior stars.

Phoenix trio Liberato Cacace, Ben Waine and Callum McCowatt took time out from pre-season training to head along to the training camp of the New Zealand U-17 team.

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The Kiwi U-17 are in preparations for their upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil and benefitted from listening to the trio share their experience of youth international football.

Cacace, Waine and McCowatt were all part of the New Zealand U-20 side that lost on penalties in the Round of 16 against Colombia at their own World Cup last month.