Smeltz’s Gold Coast United departure may be blessing in disguise – Porter

Shane Smeltz’s departure from Gold Coast United to China’s Shandong Luneng can provide great opportunities according to striker Joel Porter.

Shane Smeltz’s departure from Gold Coast United to China’s Shandong Luneng can provide great opportunities according to striker Joel Porter.

Smeltz has been the A-League’s leading goalscorer for the past two seasons (the first with Wellington Phoenix) but has moved on to try his luck in the Chinese Super League.

Although his exit will be seen as a major blow to the make-up of the second year United squad, Smeltz’s former striker partner Porter is confident it will be a good chance for the club’s young players to shine.

“Players move on and it’s just part and parcel of the game. Every club, even the biggest clubs, lose important players from time to time. We just have to move on and we can do that because we know we have some talented youngsters here who can come in and do a great job for us,” Porter said.

“Shane obviously grabbed a lot of the limelight last season and rightly so after scoring 19 goals. His departure means there will now be opportunities for some of the young boys we have here to show what they can do on the bigger stage.

“We’re a team that creates a lot of chances and we will continue to do that. The difference this season is that we will have someone else getting on the end of those chances instead of Shane.

“It would be fantastic if we can get another high profile player to come here, but if not we’re still very confident we can do better than we did last year. We want to make it into the Asian Champions League and we want to make it into the Grand Final. Our aims and goals haven’t changed one bit.

“We’re better equipped this season because we have the benefit of a year together and as a team we know what it’s all about now.”

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