Wangaratta a chance to welcome back Josh Porter this weekend

HIGH FIVE: Josh Porter would be a major inclusion for reigning premiers Wangaratta if he's fit to play during Werribee's bye round this weekend. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
HIGH FIVE: Josh Porter would be a major inclusion for reigning premiers Wangaratta if he's fit to play during Werribee's bye round this weekend. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Wangaratta premiership star Josh Porter is a possibility to return against Lavington this weekend.

Porter has played five games for Werribee in the VFL this season after recovering from a foot injury in the lead-up to the campaign.

With Werribee on a bye this weekend, Porter would move a game closer to being available for the Ovens and Murray finals series, having made just one appearance for Wangaratta in round two against the Panthers.

Any player must line up for a minimum of three games throughout the season to be eligible for September action, and, with Werribee currently three wins outside the VFL’s top-eight, having Porter available for finals would be a trump card for Pies’ coach Dean Stone.

“It hasn’t even crossed my mind,” Stone joked.

We want to field the best side we can and if that means it can work through us and Werribee, it will work.

Dean Stone

“We want to field the best side we can and if that means it can work through us and Werribee, it will work.

“If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

“We’ll see what happens over the next six or eight weeks.

“He’s a star player and they’re hard to replace those big fellas, especially ones that can mark, kick goals and play in the ruck.

“It will just be a conversation with myself and Josh around whether it’s the best thing for him to play.

“We’ll make the decision on what’s best for him and his welfare.

“There’s opportunities later in the year for him to play, so we’ll see how his body is feeling after that foot injury and go from there.”

Despite losing key talls Porter and Tom Whittlesea from last year’s grand final victory against Albury, Wangaratta has done its flag defence no harm with a strong first half of the season.

“We needed to find other avenues to goal outside of Michael (Newton), he always gets the best defender and sometimes two,” Stone said.

“We needed to get a bit smarter with our delivery and look to other areas and we’ve been able to do that.

“We had 14 goal-kickers on the weekend.”

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