If this is to be Andrew Durante's last season in the A League, he's going out in the best possible way.

The Phoenix captain indicated on Wednesday that this campaign could be his final bow, so it's appropriate he is ending on a high.

There are some parallels with Simon Mannering at the Warriors, who signed off with success in the air last year after multiple seasons of struggle.

Like Mannering, Durante has carried the club on his shoulders over the last few years, as the franchise tackled constant issues on and off the field.


Tired of the constant dramas, the 36-year-old had decided early last year to hang up his boots, before having a change of heart.

It has proved a great decision.

As part of a central back three, and with more solidity and structure around him, Durante has enjoyed something of a renaissance, playing some of his best football of the past few seasons.

"I decided to stay on and give it one more crack and I'm really enjoying it," said Durante. "If this is to be my last season, this is the way I want it to be, enjoying it, the team doing well, [the] supporters and fans being really positive. If it is my last season, then I will go out really happy."

Durante added that he had yet to make a final decision, just focussed on making the most of current campaign.

"I just want to enjoy it, I want to concentrate on playing well," said Durante. "That's my main focus at the moment — helping the team achieve what we want to achieve. We have some pretty high targets. When I decide to let people know, when I have made a firm decision, you guys will all know."

Wellington Phoenix's captain Andrew Durante dribbles past Perth defenders. Photo / Photosport
Wellington Phoenix's captain Andrew Durante dribbles past Perth defenders. Photo / Photosport

With his unassuming nature, as well as his position on the field, Durante doesn't always get the profile or acclaim that he deserves.

But he's one of the most important players in the club's history.

Since making his debut in August 2008 the Australian has been a virtual ever present, racking up 265 matches for the Phoenix (257 in the league), the vast majority as captain.

He's had six different coaches, countless defensive partners and more than 100 teammates.

He credits part of his form turnaround this season to the switch to a central defensive trio, making the most of his strengths.

"I love it," admitted Durante. "I know it really well from playing with the All Whites and at some previous clubs. It suits me to a tee. It's a position where you need really good organization skills and reading of the game and it is something I believe I possess. [I'm] enjoying the season, enjoying my own form at the moment."

Consistency of selection has also helped.

Unlike last season, where Durante probably lost count of the number of different players used beside him in the backline, this year has been more fixed, with Taylor and either Tom Doyle or Michal Kopczynski alongside him.

"It's a key to being successful and performing well, when you know the same guys are going to be lining up beside you," said Durante. "Really good chemistry, really enjoying it. Last year I didn't know who was going to be playing left side or right side and it creates a bit of inconsistency."

Like the rest of his team, Durante is anticipating a huge occasion on Friday night, with the Phoenix in line to attract their biggest crowd in the Queens City to the match against Melbourne Victory, beating the previous high of 20,078 achieved in 2011.

"In previous seasons [here] probably the crowds haven't kinda been what we wanted," said Durante. "But I believe Friday's night's game could be a really big crowd at a good stadium so we are really looking forward to it."