Durante agrees Phoenix extension

Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante has agreed a contract extension, tying him to the New Zealand outfit until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Durante, 32, was among the most consistent performers at Westpac Stadium last term, making 26 appearances, a feat bettered only by Vince Lia.

An A-League winner with the Newcastle Jets in 2007-08, the Australian-born New Zealand international defender is sure to be a key player again in 2014-15 if the Phoenix are to improve on a ninth-placed finish in their first campaign under Ernie Merrick.

“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 in a club statement.

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

The Phoenix have high-profile friendlies against Sydney FC and Premier League clubs West Ham United and Newcastle United coming up later this month, followed by an FFA Cup round-of-32 tie away to Adelaide United on August 5.