Skipper Andrew Durante latest star to quit Wellington Phoenix as player drain continues

The Wellington Phoenix have suffered another blow ahead of the new A-League season, with captain Andrew Durante the latest player to leave the club.

Wellington Phoenix's captain Andrew Durante reacts during their loss to Adelaide United. Source: Photosport

Already reeling from the departures of goalkeeper Filip Kurto, strike duo Roy Krishna and David Williams, 37-year old Durante's departure comes as a hammer blow for the Phoenix.

He is the most capped player in the club's history.

Beginning his career in 2001 before moving to the Phoenix in 2008, Durante is also the A-League's most capped player with over 300 appearances, arguably playing his best football last season under Mark Rudan, as the Nix sealed a first play-off appearance since 2015.

The veteran defender had initially planned on retiring at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, however was convinced by Rudan to play another year as the Phoenix looked to rebuild from a disastrous season.

Taking to Instagram, Durante penned his thoughts on his departure after 11 years in Wellington.

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

"Arriving in Wellington back in early 2008, it was well publicised that my initial intentions were to serve my 2 year contract and head back to Australia. I never would have thought that 11 years on I would still be captaining the team having played over 270 games for the club.

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

Durante will reportedly link up with former manager Rudan at Western United, leaving the Phoenix after 273 appearances for the club.

Durante would become the latest Phoenix acquisition for Western United, having also snapped up goalkeeper Kurto, and midfielder Max Burgess.