Mr Versatile

Having started all but two of the club's last 27 games, filling three different positions in the process, there's no denying that Dean Heffernan has become an absolutely integral part of the Perth Glory set-up.

Having started all but two of the club's last 27 games, filling three different positions in the process, there's no denying that Dean Heffernan has become an absolutely integral part of the Perth Glory set-up.

Whether employed on the left-wing, at left-back or as most recently, at centre-back, the 32-year-old's performance levels have never faltered and while admitting he favours a defensive role, Glory's Mr Versatility is more than happy to continue slotting in wherever he's required.

"The stats show that I've played in almost every game since I've been here," he said, "and that's pretty good, especially after having had a long injury lay-off.

"At the start of the year I knew I was up against it.

"Jamo (Scott Jamieson) is a quality left-back and he's come in and had a good pre-season and done a fantastic job this year.

"We also had Chris Harold come in and Ryo (Nagai) as well who can both play left- wing, so I knew it would be hard to get a start.

"But I just stuck to it and ended up getting the nod to start in that left wing role.

"I like to think that happened through the quality of my performances and there was maybe a bit of luck as well with other players picking up injuries.

"I've come in and done a job for the team in that position for most of the year and I'm really enjoying just starting every week and playing in a few different positions as well.

"But preferably, I'd like to be playing somewhere along the back four."

Ian Ferguson had of course worked closely with Heffernan during their time together at Central Coast Mariners and the Glory coach is the first to acknowledge the contribution made by the man he lured back to the A-League from a stint in China a little over a year ago.

"Heff's done a good job for us in left midfield and at left-back," he said, "and with the injuries and suspension we had last week, I knew he could play as a left-sided centre-half.

"I thought he was composed, he didn't get caught out at any time, he moved the ball well and basically did everything well.

"The way I normally work is that I just want players who play their positions, but you always need one or two in the squad that can fill a few different roles.

"He's a versatile player that fits in well with the squad.

"Heff and Jamieson have got a good rapport with each other and they work well together on the left-hand side."

Those sentiments were loudly echoed by club skipper Jacob Burns who feels that his fellow-Sydneysider doesn't always receive the credit he deserves.

"Heff is the ultimate pro," he said.

"You don't often see his name in the headlines, but he's one of these guys that you can always rely on to get a job done wherever he gets moved to and that's testament to the character and strength of the man.

"I can't speak too highly of him.

"He's very consistent in his performances and you're talking about him playing in positions that are very different as well.

"It's no easy task to adapt, but he handles it really well."

In addition to thoroughly enjoying his football, the twice-capped Socceroo is also relishing the arrival of his second son in March and would love to extend his stint here in the west beyond the end of the current campaign.

"If the offer's right," he said, "it's a fantastic club and it would be great to stay."