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Wellington Phoenix captain signs on for another season

Report from RNZ
Despite speculation around the future of the Wellington A League football club the Phoenix, captain Andrew Durante has signed on for another season.

Durante, who turned 36 earlier this month, holds the record for A-League appearances at 288 having joined the Phoenix in 2008.

The club has been the subject of speculation that it was possibly going to be sold or partly sold to Australian investors and the team could end up playing half its home games in Sydney and the other half in Wellington.

Club general manager David Dome said “the club is not for sale (but) we are looking for someone to help with the financial burden.” He said there was “no truth” to the speculation the Phoenix would end up playing home games in Sydney and Wellington.

The club’s A league licence expires at the end of the 2019-20 season and they’re still without a head coach for the next season which Dome said they hoped to have resolved soon but was unable to give a deadline for the appointment.

Dome said signing Durante and young full back Liberato Cacace, who has been part of the club’s youth academy for the past four years, was consistent with statements the club’s made that its build up to next season is continuing despite speculation over its future.

“While this (speculation) is not helpful, we as a club cannot control media speculation, but we can remain committed to working hard to pull together a competitive playing squad for next season,” said Dome.

”Dura brings leadership on and off field and is hugely respected within the playing group,” said Dome. ”Besides giving us some real solidity to build around, Dura is also taking up a part management role off the field to assist the team in commercial, marketing and community initiatives.”

Durante is currently in the United States undertaking professional development funded by the club.

News from Wellington Phoenix
The Wellington Phoenix have signed young fullback Liberato Cacace, and re-signed club Captain Andrew Durante for the Hyundai A-League season 2018/19.

Cacace, a Phoenix Academy graduate who has been in the club’s youth programme for four years, signs on a two year deal, with Club Captain, Andrew Durante, re-signing on a one season deal.

Phoenix General Manager, David Dome said the club was thrilled to have secured the services of the two players for next season.

All time A-League appearance record holder, Andrew Durante’s leadership and experience was seen as crucial as the club moves forward.

‘’Dura brings leadership on and off field and is hugely respected within the playing group’’, Dome said.

‘’Besides giving us some real solidity to build around, Dura is also taking up a part management role off the field to assist the team in commercial, marketing and community initiatives.

‘’Dura is currently in the United States on some professional development funded by the club, and we are looking forward to him returning with some learnings to help us build into next season.’’

Making his debut for the club last season, Liberato Cacace impressed with his resolute defending and driving runs forward from deep, and his signing signals the clubs intent to bring through young, New Zealand players.

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