A-League: Andrew Durante confirms departure from Wellington Phoenix

  • 11/06/2019

Phoenix captain Andrew Durante has announced that his time with the Wellington A-League club is over.

The All Whites defender has been a fixture in the side since his debut in 2018, but took to social media on Tuesday to confirm his departure.

"It's with a heavy heart that I announce that I will be leaving the Wellington Phoenix after 11 years service,"Durante wrote in an Instagram post.

"I feel my contribution to the football club has been a significant one and it is one that I'm really proud of."

The 37-year-old is widely tipped to join former coach Mark Rudan at foundation franchise Western United, spurning an offer to stay at the Phoenix where he had been offered an expanded off-field role.

It will mark the end of an era in Wellington, which Durante made his home after leaving the Newcastle Jets in 2008 and performed at a consistently high level for more than a decade.

His three daughters were all born in New Zealand and Durante proved his loyalty by turning out 24 times for the All Whites.

Phoenix officials couldn't be contacted but it is understood they have lost another battle at the negotiating table, having bid farewell last month to star forward and Johnny Warren Medal winner Roy Krishna.

On Tuesday morning they confirmed the other half of their potent 2018-19 strike force, former Socceroos forward David Williams, has exited after having bagged 11 goals.

New Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay faces a hefty rebuilding job, with four visa slots to be filled and an entire front line to replace.

He can at least call on experience at the back in Durante's absence, with veteran former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor having committed to next season and now boasting strong credentials to captain the Kiwi club.

Talay's first two signings were New Zealand international goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and Australian teenage left-back Walter Scott.