WHEN coach Brett Angell yelled out his abbreviated name from the sideline during his rookie season, Facundo Barbero knew it caught the attention of bewildered fans at Park Island, Napier.

Thirsty Whale Hawke's Bay United striker Barbero now appreciates the spectators have cottoned on to the vulgar connotations that may have been a source of amusement to some although his shortened name from his hometown of San Miguel de Tucuman, in northern Argentina, is "Facun".

"I'm used to it. It's funny sometimes but the club is getting used to it," Barbero says with a laugh.

"Everyone used to say it [sounds] like a swear word but my name is Facun and they call me Facu."


But how many fans have noticed, with such sharp vulgarity, that the 20-year-old has scored four goals this summer, one fewer than Englishman Saul Halpin who starts games?

Amid the striking stocks, Angus Kilkolly has found the net once and so has Japanese import wing defender Kohei Matsumoto.

Sam Mason-Smith and, to a lesser extent late starter, Ben Everson are still in the hunt for a goal.

What's more remarkable about Barbero's achievement is that he has always come off the bench to score.

Doesn't that warrant a starting XI berth for anyone who has such a hard nose for finding the net?

Of course, Angell will have factored in his combinations the ability of some players at the coalface who have the ponetial to not only find spaces but create them to thread crucial passes in the stock exchange, as it were.

Nevertheless, it defies logic that someone can put the ball away with such ease when more goals would have made life easier this summer in the Stirling Sports Premiership campaign.

Barbero would love nothing more than to start a game but he appreciates Angell has a blueprint and that he is but a cog in that wheel so, therefore, he is only too happy to follow protocol.


"I understand what Brett says to me and everything. I know we have a lot of strikers at the moment so when I have to play [off the bench] I try to show what I can do and put in goals for the team to win the games."

The player - who plied his trade for Waterside Karori in the Capital premier league and almost helped them gain promotion to the top-tier Lotto Central League during winter, after a gut-wrenching loss on aggregate to Taranaki - says he is happy to wait for his chance and isn't worried about it.

"Hopefully I'm looking forward to scoring a few more goals in the weekend," says Barbero before the 2pm kick off against last-placed Southern United today in game to be played at Peter Johnstone Park, Mosgiel, a town about half an hour's drive from Dunedin but closer to the airport.

In typical selfless fashion, he says it's imperative fifth-placed Bay United prevail and if he finds the net in the process than that will be the icing on the cake.

Angell has been impressing on him what he needs to improve on during the training sessions at Park Island.

"I just have to work hard and try to help the team," says Barbero who is contemplating going home for a short, sharp Christmas break but he hasn't really nutted it out just yet although he had visited them in March.


In his sultry hometown of soaring temperatures, he learned as a youngster not to just deposit the ball into the net but also find angles to provide quality moves.

The Bay have had three wins, as many losses and a draw but Barbero says it's imperative they win the two games before Christmas to be in pole position for the playoffs.

He feels with Angell the team are beginning to find a lot more cohesiveness and is enjoying players to pushing each for a berth.

"We're training 100 per cent to show Brett we want to play so that's good."

What is unnerving, apart from the fact that it isn't easy to eke out victories on their home turf, is that the hosts are also bemoaning the lack of goals so far this summer.

According to a premiership report, several opposition coaches have remarked that Southern are a far more competitive proposition than last season's incarnation but that will come as little comfort to coach Paul O'Reilly, who is still searching for his first three-pointer of the campaign.


He will be boosted in that aim by the return from injury of former Bay United player Harley Rodeka although the skipper is not yet ready to start and will be restricted to a cameo off the bench.

The Bay have won the previous nine meetings between the sides with Southern's last points a 2-0 victory back in 2011.

Whatever the outcome, history will be made as Peter Johnstone Park in Mosgiel is hosting a men's national league match for the first ever time.

Angell is aware of Bay having egg on their faces.


WHO: Southern Utd v Hawke's Bay Utd.


WHERE: Peter Johnstone Park, Mosgiel.

WHEN: Today, 2pm kick off.

REFEREE: Chris Kerr.

AST REFS: J Cowie, A Verolino.


SOUTHERN UTD: Liam Little (GK), Conor O'Keeffe, Stephen Last, Danny Ledwith, Eric Molloy, Michael Hogan, Harley Rodeka (c), Andy Mulligan, Sam Cosgrave, Ross Howard, Andrew Ridden, Sam Collier, Campbell Higgins, Cameron McPhail, Danny Furlong, Tom Stevens (RGK).


Coach: Paul O'Reilly.

HAWKE'S BAY UTD: 1. Joshua Hill (GK), 2. Sean Liddicoat, 3. Kohei Matsumoto, 6. Alex Palezevic, 7. Cory Chettleburgh (vc), 8. Finlay Milne (c), 9. Facundo Barbero, 10. Sam Mason-Smith, 11. Saul Halpin, 12. Ross Willox, 13. Ethan Dent, 14. Martin Canales Ramos, 15. Ben Everson, 16. Angus Kilkolly, 17. Fergus Neil, 19. Nile Walwyn, 26. Ruben Parker Hanks (RGK).

Coach: Brett Angell.
Ast coach: Jamie Dunning.