June 21, 2021


Next Level Game Over

Record-holder Durante to hang up his boots

Retiring A-League appearances record-holder Andrew Durante has been described as an “unsung hero” of Australian football.

At 39, Western United defender Durante will call time on his career at the end of this season.

Durante has made 414 national league appearances, with his 356 in the A-League being a competition record.

It’s fitting Durante announced his impending retirement on Wednesday, with United meeting the veteran’s former club Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night in New Zealand.

Durante’s spent the bulk of his A-League career with the Phoenix, making 272 appearances for the Kiwi club.

Such was the length of his stint with the Phoenix, Durante gained New Zealand citizenship and represented the All White on 24 occasions.

“I spent the majority of my career there,” Durante said.

“I just thought it was fitting to say thank you to them and to the fans there as well.”

While silverware eluded Durante at the Phoenix, he won an A-League title with Newcastle in 2008 and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for man-of-the-match performance in the grand final.

Durante also won a National Soccer League championship with Sydney Olympic in 2002.

Retiring Western United defender Andrew Durante with his daughters Adalyn (R), Milana 7 (L) and Evita 6. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Daniel PockettSource: News Corp Australia

“I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this stage in my career and to play 20 years as a pro is not an easy thing to do and I’ve had fantastic support,” he said.

“My wife and my kids have been incredibly supportive of my career. My parents, they will probably be the saddest out of everyone realising they won’t get to watch me on the TV anymore.

“Without those guys, my close family, my brother and my sister, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”

A-League boss Greg O’Rourke praised Durante for his dedication.

“`Dura’ has been one of the unsung heroes of Australian professional football for more than two decades, and his retirement will mark the end of an inspiring career,” O’Rourke said.

“He’s a title winner in both the NSL and the A-League, but just as importantly, is the sort of character who teammates and opponents admire and respect.

“I have no doubt he’ll give everything to go out a winner, and fully deserves the plaudits that will come his way in the next few weeks.”

Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis said Durante had been a leader “on and off the park” at the Victorian club.

“Everyone in the Western United family loves ‘Dura’,” Pehlivanis said.

“His teammates, the club employees the partners and the fans. It’s been a privilege to have him part of the Green and Black.

“We can’t thank him enough for all he’s done and we hope to see him be part of our club in the future.”

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