Porter hoping to crown his defining season

With three rounds to play of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season, standout local product Bradley Porter can already reflect on what has been perhaps his career-defining season.

With three rounds to play of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season, standout local product Bradley Porter can already reflect on what has been perhaps his career-defining season.

Seldom used by Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna after first joining his hometown club as a short-term injury replacement at the tail end of the Mariners- inaugural Hyundai A-League campaign, Porter has become a lynchpin member of the Mariners- quest for back-to-back Hyundai A-League Premierships.

Equally at home in defence or in midfield, Porter has been used in virtually every position for the yellow and navy in the back two thirds of the pitch since first declaring his intentions for a permanent starting berth ahead of the opening round of the 2008 Pre-Season Cup.

With the Mariners set to embark on a frantic last-ditch bid to retain their most prized piece of Hyundai A-League silverware to date, the Premiers Plate, the influence of arguably the finest local talent the club has uncovered since its inception will be as telling as any.

"New Year-s Eve was the first time this season that we-ve been able to put back-to-back wins together and even though we-ve played one or two games more than the other teams, it puts them under pressure now," said Porter.

"Our three remaining games are against the three sides above us, so it-s going to be a good litmus test for us to see where we-re at heading into the Finals Series.

"Queensland are a difficult team to play against, in the midfield they-re probably the sharpest and most mobile team in the Hyundai A-League - they-re always difficult to play against.

"We-ve never beaten them at home, but as they say the stats are there to broken so hopefully we can do that on Saturday."

Porter is one of only three players to have featured in every Pre-Season Cup and Hyundai A-League round of season four, along with Sasho Petrovski and captain Alex Wilkinson.

These 21 competitive appearances account for half of Porter-s caps in the colours of his hometown club.

When the Mariners line up against the Roar in Saturday-s clash at Bluetongue Stadium, Porter will be further looking to underline his quality from dead ball situations and from wide areas - having contributed the final pass to many of the Mariners- record 32 goals throughout season four.

"I-m loving it at right back, at the start of the season I was a little bit hesitant and it took be a bit of time getting used to, being a central midfield player usually, but I-m really enjoying it now," said Porter.

"I can get forward from that position and I feel comfortable there now, it-s been great."

The Mariners are back at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday, 10 January when they host the Queensland Roar in Round 19 of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season. Kick off is at 7pm.

Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.