Wangaratta play waiting game with forward Josh Porter ahead of final

We will look to put the best side on the ground.

Col McClounan

WANGARATTA is refusing to rule out star forward Josh Porter making a late dash from the U.S to play a role in the Magpies’ push for premiership glory.

Josh Porter

Josh Porter

Club president Col McClounan said it remained unclear if Porter would be given time off from his teaching course at East Carolina University to play in Sunday’s preliminary final against Yarrawonga at Bunton Park.

“I haven't heard anything at this stage,” McClounan said.

“We will look to put the best side on the ground.

“He's a long way away.

"It's a tough call both ways and it’s about what's the right call.

"He's still in the United States.”

Speculation has been rife Porter will return to the North-East this week to play his first match since taking on Wangaratta Rovers on July 16.

He said before leaving Australia there would only be a small window of opportunity to return.

“I couldn’t miss too much time, probably a week and a half would be the most,” Porter told The Border Mail on July 16.

“If it (the university program) allows me to, yeah, I’d like to come back and explore every avenue.”

Wangaratta would have gained confidence from pushing Albury to the brink in the second semi-final and it will start hot favourites against the Pigeons.

If Porter’s timetable is too tight, the Magpies could be forced to take a massive punt and fly him back late in hope they make the grand final.

Wangaratta is set to regain Joe Richards from the Murray Bushrangers while full-forward Michael Newton will undergo a fitness test on a hamstring.

Dylan Van Berlo will miss.