Time to step up: Porter


Porter is one of two players currently on loan to the Central Coast Lightning for their NSW Super League campaign that is set to line up for the Mariners against the Lightning at Pluim Park next week, along with fellow emerging Mariners prospect Ian McAndrew.

Porter, 21, has made a start in each of the two most recent Central Coast Challenge Cup meetings and has been a permanent fixture of the Lightning?s early season Super League charge.
At many of the Mariners pre-season training sessions to date, it has been Porter that has performed most impressively ? often dedicating several hours beyond the scheduled session times to work on various facets of his well rounded game.
“I?m feeling quite good, I?m in probably a little bit better shape than some of the boys because I?ve been playing with the Lightning over the off-season,” said Porter.
“I think a few of the boys are a little sore, but it?s all about getting through that in the first few weeks and pushing on from there.”
Capped 21 times by his hometown club in Hyundai A-League and Pre-Season Cup fixtures, Porter has made almost as many appearances for the yellow and navy in trial matches since first linking with the club in late 2005.
Of those appearances, Porter?s most memorable was a start against the Qantas Young Socceroos (Under 20?s) in Townsville in June 2006, which witnessed the youth international?s first and as yet only goal in all fixtures for the Mariners.
Having built on the six Hyundai A-League appearances he made in his first full campaign in 2006/07 with a further eight last season, Porter is hoping to again play a more significant role for the Mariners in season four.
“It?s a massive season for myself, I?ve had a couple of seasons with the club now and have been a bit part player, but I really feel that this year is the year that I have to step up and try to get a starting berth ? that?s definitely the aim,” said Porter.
“The first game is always a good time to impress, last year, I?ll admit, I didn?t have the best of pre-seasons and I think that it is really important to be in the manager?s thoughts from day one, so hopefully I can get in the starting side and it will be a good hit out.”
The Mariners will open their Hyundai A-League 2008/09 pre-season campaign by taking on the Central Coast Lightning at Pluim Park next Tuesday, 20 May. Kick off is at 7.30pm.