Socceroos defender Shane Stefanutto has signed a three-year deal with Brisbane Roar.
The former Brisbane Strikers, Lillestrom and Lyn defender makes the switch from North Queensland Fury, where his season was cruelly interrupted by a knee injury.
Stefanutto said a shared philosophy for the future with Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou cemented the move from Townsville to Brisbane.
“As a player I always want to win, I always want to be the best and speaking to Ange he had similar thoughts, plans and goals,” Stefanutto said.
“He wants the club to be successful and that-s what really made me feel good about the decision to come to Brisbane.
“I want to be successful, I want to achieve things, I want to play Asian Champions League and I want to win a title.
“That made me excited about football again because it has not been an easy couple of months or even an easy year in terms of my injury.”
Stefanutto-s quality at left-back is a boon for the club, while his penchant for overlapping from defensive positions will be a welcome sight for Brisbane fans.
For his part, Postecoglou said the 30-year-old would bring good experience to the club having plied his trade in Norway for five years.
“I-m delighted Shane has decided to join the Roar and I look forward to him being a major contributor to our success,” Postecoglou said from Europe. “He provides the quality and experience we need to continue building a successful team for next season and beyond.
“The whole club is working hard to ensure we are able to bring success and excitement to our fans and this signing is another piece of the puzzle.”
In a further boost to Postecoglou-s plans for next season, Stefanutto has put his hand up to become one of the club-s on field leaders.
“I want to be a leader of the club,” he said. “I-d love to captain the club some day and I-d love to be in the leadership group.
“I want to help the young players, I want to do all these things so I think it-s a nice challenge ahead.”
Further good news for Brisbane-s fans was Stefanutto-s confidence in his recovery from rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Round 9 last season.
“I-ve been working very hard on it and I-ve always been ahead of schedule,” he said.
“I feel really positive about the knee, it feels even stronger than when I was playing.”
Stefanutto-s signature means Brisbane now have 15 players signed for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season with Postecoglou saying more player announcements were imminent.
“I-m very pleased with all the players we-ve recruited so far and I-m working even harder now to bring more extra quality to the club,” he said.
“Over the next few weeks we expect to make announcements regarding our two vacant visa spots as well as monitoring the Brisbane Premier League and Queensland State League closely to ensure any local talent is given an opportunity.”
Meanwhile, fellow new Brisbane recruit Costa Barbarouses has been selected in an extended training squad for the New Zealand national team ahead of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“We wish Costa all the best in his quest to secure a berth in the World Cup,” Postecoglou said.
SHANE STEFANUTTO FACT FILE
D.O.B: 12 January 1980
Place of Birth: Cairns, Australia
Height: 1.77 metres (5 ft 9.5 inches)
Position: Left back
2009 – 2010 North Queensland Fury 7 (Apps) 0 (Gls)
2008 – 2009 Lyn Oslo (Norway) 43 0
2004 – 2007 Lillestrøm SK (Norway) 78 1
1998 – 2004 Brisbane Strikers 124 1
Edge Hill SC (QLD)
Southport Warriors (QLD)
1997 – 1998 Queensland Academy of Sport
Qantas Socceroos 3 (Apps) 0 (Gls)
Debut: March 2007 friendly vs China (w2-0), Guanzhou (CHN)
Norwegian Cup winner – 2007
Check out pictures of Stefanutto’s career in the Shane Stefanutto Gallery