Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante has joined Sydney FC for their Asian Champions League campaign. The 28-year old centre-half will be with the Sky Blues for a short stint before returning to Wellington for the 2011/12 A-League season.

Sydney approached the Phoenix who were happy to release the skipper after some quick negotiations.

"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."

Sydney's ACL group stage kicks off on Wednesday, March 2 against Korean club Suwon Bluewings.