Shane Stefanutto announces retirementPosted: April 30, 2016
Another Brisbane player has announced his departure from the Roar, with long serving left back Shane Stefanutto calling time on a long and distinguished career.
Stefanutto, 36, calls time on his career after spending time with Brisbane Strikers, Lillestrom, Lyn Oslo, North Queensland Fury and Brisbane Roar. In a statement on a Roar website this morning, Stefanutto spoke about his journey at the club.
“When it’s all done, you realise how privileged you were to be in a position like this. I think back to all the wonderful times we have had, the premierships, the trophies . . . all the friends and the battles we had on the field, they are all special things. It is something I will definitely miss now but have enjoyed across the whole journey. The club has a culture – something that’s really special.
It’s 23 people who get an opportunity to fulfil that role. They should see that as a real privilege. “Now that I am not going to be part of that, I realise what a wonderful opportunity I had. It’s sad that I am not going to be playing any more but I am excited for those players who will be Brisbane Roar next season and years beyond. I wish them, the club, its members, fans and sponsors all the best for the future.”
After growing up in North Queensland, Stefanutto travelled down to Brisbane as a junior to link up with the Brisbane Strikers, where he made 124 appearances for the NSL club before departing for Europe after the demise of the old league.
That European career took Stefanutto to Norway where over five seasons he played for Lillestrom and Lyn Oslo, winning the 2007 Norwegian Cup with Lillestrom. During that time in Europe, Stefanutto became a fringe member of the national side, going on to make three appearances for the Socceroos, the last of which came in June 2009 against Japan.
After returning home in 2009 to join the newly formed North Queensland Fury, Stefanutto suffered a serious knee injury against Perth Glory, ending both his season and his chances of representing Australia at the World Cup.
That was also the last time Stefanutto would represent the Fury, after he agreed to a move back to Brisbane, joining Ange Postecoglou’s new looked Brisbane Roar for the 2010-11 season.
Over his time here in Brisbane, Stefanutto formed a wonderful combination down the left hand side with Thomas Broich and Matt McKay, leading to countless chances and goals.
Injures and the emergence of Corey Brown have seen opportunities dry up over the past couple of seasons, but he’s still been dependable as ever this season with 17 appearances from 30 games.
All up Shane retires after 138 appearances for Brisbane Roar over six seasons, which puts him sixth in terms of the all time appearances list. Only Matt McKay, Thomas Broich, Massimo Murdocca, Henrique and Michael Theo have represented the Roar more times.
Stefanutto also joins a group of just 10 players to have played 100 times for the club, with the aforementioned six being joined by Mitch Nichols, Ivan Franjic, Matt Smith and Luke Brattan.
Shane’s time with Brisbane has also coincided with the greatest period in the clubs history to date, with six successive finals appearances, three Asian Champions League campaigns, three Championships, two Premierships and breaking the Australian sporting record for games without a defeat.
There have been a few constants throughout that run, one of them has been having a reliable left back bombing forward to create overlaps and space for our creative players. An unsung hero of the side but an important one, Thanks for the memories Shane.
Player number- 67
Debut- Round 1, 2010/11 (Gold Coast United- A)
Games- 135 (3)
Honours- 3x Championship (2010/11, 2011/12 & 2013/14), 2x Premiership (2010/11 & 2013/14)