Quest for trophy drives Victory veteran Traore

A rare Melbourne Victory stalwart without an A-League Men trophy to his name, Adama Traore is desperate for an elusive piece of silverware.

The left-back has had three different stints at Victory: 2012-14, 2019-2021 and this season.

Victory won two championships, a premiership and an Australia Cup between Traore's first two stints, and a second Australia Cup between his second and third.

The Ivory Coast international won three Swiss Super League titles, plus a Swiss Cup, with FC Basel between 2014 and 2016.

But Traore, 34, wants that missing line on his resume.

And he knows Victory are just three games away from delivering it.

Adama Traore in action against Sydney FC.
Victory have won several trophies in the past decade, only not during Traore's stints with the club. (Will Murray/AAP PHOTOS)

"It's a dream for every player to win at least a title, a championship," Traore told AAP ahead of Victory's semi-final first leg against Wellington.

"It is for me also.

"We work hard and make sure we can play the final and hopefully we can win.

Victory need to beat Wellington across two legs, first at AAMI Park on Sunday, then at Sky Stadium the following Saturday.

"It's very important to start very strong," Traore said.

"But at the same time we have to make sure we qualify no matter what.

"Whether it's this week or the following week, we have to do the job.

"We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we qualify for the final."

But standing in Traore's way will be a familiar face.

Phoenix forward Kosta Barbarouses is Traore's old Victory teammate - and he has no shortage of trophies, with four championships, three premierships and an Australia Cup to his name.

Kosta Barbarouses.
Kosta Barbarouses is one man Traore and Victory will have to nullify when they meet the Phoenix. (Masanori Udagawa/AAP PHOTOS)

Speedy and experienced left-back Traore will be crucial to stopping fellow 34-year-old Barbarouses, who has wound back the clock with 13 goals and four assists this campaign.

"Kosta is a great player. He's one of the top, top players in the A-League," Traore said.

"He's scored many goals, he's very fast.

"I just have to prepare well, be mentally focused from the first second until the last, last second."

Traore will also hope to get forward and create opportunities in attack, with his lethal crossing.

"It's the set-up of the team. When you play well as a team, it helps," he said.

"It's very good for us as full-backs to have the freedom to go forward and attack."

Coach Tony Popovic noted Traore had become more influential since overcoming some lingering injuries early in the season.

"We brought him here because we love him getting forward so, great that we've seen that really evolved in the last four to six weeks," he told AAP.

"He's very important for us on that left side and hopefully he can contribute to some good opportunities for us, for our attackers."