As he prepares for his final playing season with the club, Shane Stefanutto is already examining ways he could help the Roar in the future.
The experienced fullback is keen to maintain a connection with Brisbane Roar FC and its members when he expects to call an end to his distinguished playing career in the Hyundai A-League at the end of this season.
Stefanutto, who signed a one-year contract extension several months ago, says one option for the future could be to channel his passion for the game and the club into helping to build stronger ties with Roar members and commercial partners.
“I love the club,” Stefanutto said.
“I know I have one more season left in me as a player and I know I can contribute to this (playing) group and make us successful like we want to be and win trophies again.
“It’s a two-fold thing. I obviously want to concentrate my full energies on this last season of football then after that I hope in the future I can be part of the club moving forward.
“I look forward to that day and I look forward to playing this last season as well.
“You never know what could happen in football in 12 months but if I had a perfect dream that is how it would work – helping out again because I love the club so much.
“It started in Brisbane for me in 1998 and it will finish for me in Brisbane in 2016 and that’s is going to be something that is really special.
“After that I want to contribute to football in Queensland and contribute to Brisbane Roar for many more years to come.”
Stefanutto’s career has so far included 118 games in the Hyundai A-League (seven of those with North Queensland Fury in 2009/10). He played for Australia three times.
Despite the disappointment of crashing out of the Westfield FFA Cup with a 1-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers FC earlier this week, Stefanutto believes the Roar have taken the first steps towards a much improved season in 2015/16.
“As a group we were happy with the first half against the Wanderers. Unfortunately, we had a period of maybe 20 minutes in the second half that has cost us the result,” he said.
The Roar’s next pre-season assignment is against reigning Premiers Melbourne Victory at Southport Sharks’ home ground, Fankhauser Reserve, next Wednesday, 19 August (7pm kick off).
Tickets from $10 (adult plus booking fee) are available now through Ticketmaster. Family tickets, concessions and juniors’ tickets (from $5) are also available.
Those who pre-purchase tickets to the big game also go into the running to win an autographed new 2015/16 Brisbane Roar-Steadfast jersey, which was released earlier this week. To book tickets, click here
The Roar’s Pre-Season Tour also includes matches at Nathan in Brisbane (PS4NPLQld Under-23 All-Stars), at Cleveland in Redland City (Newcastle Jets) and at Kawana on the Sunshine Coast (Central Coast Mariners).
Stefanutto said he had rarely seen the Roar players so committed and working so hard to turn around last season’s disappointments when they bowed out of the Finals Series in the first week and were unable to advance out of the Group Stage in the AFC Champions League despite two historic victories.
“Myself and the rest of the boys are working super hard and getting ourselves ready for the first round of the (Hyundai) A-League season,” he said.
“It is really positive around the group at the moment. There’s a lot of positive energy here, a lot of hard-working footballers who just want to do the best for the club.”
And in his final season, there is one special match which looms as a sentimental fixture in Stefanutto’s farewell season.
The Roar will play Wellington Phoenix FC on Saturday, 12 December at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns – Stefanutto’s home town.
“It is excellent that the league is getting around the country and the thirst for football in Cairns is very strong,” Stefanutto said.
“They are very passionate about their footy and I look forward to getting up there again.”