PLAYER SIGNING | Durante Signs New Contract

Captain Andrew Durante will be with the Wellington Phoenix till at least the end of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season after signing a new one-year contract with the club.

Captain Andrew Durante will be with the Wellington Phoenix till at least the end of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season after signing a new one-year contract with the club.

Durante, 32, who joined the Phoenix in 2008 and has made 150 appearances, said he had no hesitation in taking up the offer of another contract.

“There have been some great times and some difficult periods but I have taken something from every experience and loved my time at the Phoenix,” Durante said.

“Wellington and New Zealand has always been so welcoming and I have felt at home here from day one.”

Durante joined the Phoenix after winning the 2007 A-League grand final with the Newcastle Jets and has never regretted the decision.

“It was a big decision but the club made me feel wanted and I have been fortunate enough to play with some great people,” Durante said.

“I have also made some good friends outside football and so has (wife) Sarah.”

While Durante probably never envisaged staying as long as he has in Wellington, he certainly wouldn-t have dreamt that he would end up representing New Zealand.

“No way did I ever think moving to Wellington would see me playing international football,” he said.

“I thought my chances of doing that had gone after I was picked for the Socceroos in an Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia.

“I was on the bench for that game and spent almost the entire second half warming up as one of the players was struggling with an injury.

“In the end I didn-t get on and while having been on the bench caused a few problems in getting me qualified for my adopted country, I believe everything happens for a reason.

“Had I got on for even a few seconds against Indonesia I wouldn-t have been able to play for New Zealand.

“I was welcomed into the All Whites camp and have thoroughly enjoyed playing for them.”

After a disappointing last season Durante is determined to help the club he has come to love make the playoffs this time around and go on to emulate the Newcastle Jets he helped win the title in 2007.