Durante extends Phoenix stay

Skipper Andrew Durante has extended his stay with the Wellington Phoenix until the end of the 2015-16 A-League season.

Durante, 32, said he had no hesitation signing a new one-year deal with the Kiwi outfit.

“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.

The Sydney-born defender joined the Phoenix after winning the 2007 A-League grand final with the Newcastle Jets.

“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.”

He later took out New Zealand citizenship and made his international debut for the All Whites in March last year.

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

“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.”