|Full name||Joel William Porter|
|Date of birth||25 December 1978|
|Place of birth||Adelaide, Australia|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Current club||West Adelaide|
|2009–2012||Gold Coast United||43||(7)|
|2013–||West Adelaide (Asst manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 May 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Joel William Porter (born 25 December 1978) is an Australian football (soccer) player. He played for Hartlepool United in Football League One until the end the 2008/2009 season, leaving for Australia on a free transfer to Gold Coast United.
Before joining Hartlepool United, Porter had previously played for Croydon Kings, West Adelaide, Melbourne Knights and Sydney Olympic. During his final season at Sydney Olympic Porter managed to score 6 goals in 19 starts, having played many of those matches as a midfielder.
Porter decided to look to Europe in a bid to find a club. Porter almost signed for Rayo Vallecano but the Spanish La Liga club were unprepared to take a gamble by signing him after doubts arouse over his fitness. After previously having trials in England with Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, before visa problems prevented them, Porter finally signed for Hartlepool.
Porter made his Hartlepool début against Swindon Town and scored his first goal against Burton Albion shortly afterwards during a live televised FA Cup match. Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper decided to offer him an 18-month contract at the end of 2003. However Porter struggled to score in his first season and only notched up 5 goals in 31 appearances. Porter's fifth goal for the club was perhaps one of the most important as it earned Hartlepool a draw in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Bristol City.
During the following 2004/2005 season, Porter became a fan favourite and was a massive success. After a slow start he forced his way into the team after coming on as a substitute against Doncaster Rovers and scoring two late goals. This earned him a place alongside Adam Boyd in the Hartlepool line-up. He then went on to notch 14 goals in 37 appearances. Porter's performances earned him the Hartlepool United's Fans' Player of the Year award. His performances attracted the attention of a host of Australian clubs such as Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix FC who wanted to see him return home to play in the newly formed A-League. Porter was closely linked to sign with the Phoenix, however Hartlepool elected to invoke the team option to resign him for one more year.
In the 2005/06 season, Porter struggled with a long-term knee injury that lasted 10 months and prevented him from playing for the majority of the season. Porter returned to Hartlepool squad after 10 months injured and came on as a substitute against Huddersfield, scoring after 6 minutes to mark his return. However, his return could not prevent Hartlepool from being relegated from Football League One. He helped Hartlepool win promotion back to the Football League One the following season and helped Pools survive in the third tier the following two seasons.
Porter also represented Australia in the 2002 OFC Nations Cup where he went on to make four appearances for the Socceroos, scoring five goals in the process and finished as his country's top scorer. Porter was gifted the chance to play in the tournament as Soccer Australia could not afford to fund for its bigger overseas stars to play.
|Australia national team|
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