Wellington Phoenix has allowed captain Andrew Durante to join Sydney FC for their Asian Champions League campaign
There is no need for Phoenix fans to panic though, the popular defender will be back in a black and yellow shirt for the start of the next Hyundai A-League season.
Sydney FC approached Phoenix management today with a view to them signing Durante, and after a hectic few hours getting the deal done he will fly to Sydney tomorrow to join up with his new team-mates.
“I only heard about the possibility of me joining them at lunch time and the deal had to be done today if I was to be eligible,” Durante said.
“Obviously I was keen to go because it will be a fantastic experience.
“I missed out playing in the Champions League two years ago when Newcastle Jets qualified because I was joining the Phoenix. To get a second chance is amazing.
“The club has been fantastic with Terry [Serepisos] and Ricki [Herbert} giving me their blessing.
“I think Sydney could go well in the competition because they have been playing well in the last few weeks and have signed a couple of players.
“Besides myself, they have signed David Williams for the Champions League and I believe Jamie Coyne will be joining as well.”
Herbert said he was quite happy for Durante to go once the legalities were put in place to ensure he would be back with the Phoenix for next season.
“It is a great opportunity for him to have exposure in a competition like that,” Herbert said.
“It will be beneficial for the Phoenix for him to have that experience. I-m sure he will do very well and the fans can be assured he will be back with us for next season.”