Ipswich return inspires Brisbane

The prospect of playing in front of another bumper crowd at North Ipswich Oval is providing key motivation for the Brisbane Roar squad ahead of their clash against an Ipswich Invitational side on Sunday.

The prospect of playing in front of another bumper crowd at North Ipswich Oval is providing key motivation for the Brisbane Roar squad ahead of their clash against an Ipswich Invitational side on Sunday.

Last year-s match drew over 3000 spectators and given Brisbane-s status as Hyundai A-League Champions status, an even bigger crowd is expected for this pre-season-s re-match against the team comprised of Ipswich-s best footballers.

A long-term knee injury prevented Shane Stefanutto from taking part in the 2010 fixture and the Brisbane defender was relishing in the opportunity to relive the atmosphere on the pitch this time around.

“I-m really excited about it - I remember it last year and there was a huge crowd,” Stefanutto said.

“I wasn-t playing last year but I was in the crowd, the stadium was packed and it was great to see all the support.

“It-s nice going out into Ipswich, they-re very passionate about their football and they appreciated us coming out last year and I-m sure they-ll do the same this year.”

The invitational squad will be made up of footballers from the three biggest clubs in Ipswich - Ipswich City Bulls, Ipswich Knights and Western Spirit FC - and will attempt to topple the Hyundai A-League Champions under the guidance of Spirit FC coach Craig Reimers.

Given the magnitude of the damage suffered by the area during the January floods, Stefanutto said having Ipswich on the Roar-s pre-season tour held special significance for the Brisbane Roar players.

“They-ve had some very tough times recently so if we can put a bit of joy into their lives, that-ll be great,” he said.

“Again, they are passionate people and they have had a tough time so it-ll be really nice getting out there.”

While new signings Matt Jurman, Kofi Danning and Jack Hingert yet to make appearances for the club, Stefanutto was confident in the young trio-s ability to impress when given the chance by Head Coach Ange Postecoglou during the upcoming training fixtures.

“I think they-ve settled in really well,” the defender said.

“The three of them are all good, young players who will fit into our style well - good passers with a bit of speed so they-re great signings for the club.

“They-re all good guys as well which has helped them fit in right away.

“Not sure what the gaffer has planned for this this weekend but it would be nice to see them out there, that-s for sure.”

Brisbane Roar takes on an Ipswich Invitational side on Sunday 17 July, kicking off at 3pm at North Ipswich Oval, 43 The Terrace, North Ipswich. Player signings from 1-1.55pm.

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