Qantas Socceroo defender Shane Stefanutto’s nine months of injury agitation is about to come to an end when he takes to the field on Tuesday night against a Brisbane Invitational XI at Rochedale.
Stefanutto, Rocky Visconte and Milan Susak will all make their first competitive appearance for the club as the Roar looks to continue its undefeated pre-season.
A recent addition to the squad, Susak will be introduced into the side after only a week on the training ground.
But for injured duo Stefanutto (knee) and Visconte (hamstring), the sideline has been a permanent pre-season fixture in the Roar-s Roadshow tour.
Stefanutto hasn-t seen any match action since he injured his knee playing for North Queensland Fury in Round 9 of last season-s Hyundai A-League.
“It-s been a long road but I-m really looking forward to it,” Stefanutto said. “It will be good to put that Roar jersey on and step out there again.
“It-s been great to be back in full training but I-m really happy to be heading back out on the field and building up for the start of the season.”
Where some may have become disheartened with such a long stint on the sidelines, Stefanutto has worked hard to inject even more motivation into his game.
With the help of the tireless Brisbane coaching staff and the encouragement of his team-mates, Stefanutto is fit and ready to launch his Brisbane career.
“The boys would sometimes call me the tourist,” Stefanutto joked.
“But since I-ve been with the club there has always been Kenny (assistant coach Ken Stead) and Timmy (physio Tim Oostenbroek) and they-ve set good programs and if I needed that little push they were there to help me out.”
Arriving in Brisbane with a slight hamstring complaint, Visconte has also had to endure watching his new team-mates dominate their pre-season opponents.
But issued with a clean bill of health, the 20 year-old speedster is itching for the chance to claim a spot in Brisbane-s lethal attack.
“I-m really looking forward to my first hit-out … and hopefully I get a fair amount of time in the game,” Visconte said.
“I had to train for a couple of weeks to make sure I was over the injury, but going to all the games and watching the boys play just made me wish I was out there with them.”
Brisbane clash with the Brisbane Invitational XI at Underwood Park on July 6, with gates opening at 4.30pm.
There will be a player signing session at 4.45pm before the main game kicks-off at 7.15pm.