With 12 months remaining on his current Brisbane Roar contract, defender Shane Stefanutto said his decision to extend for another year was an easy one – bringing his football journey full circle.
With 12 months remaining on his current Brisbane Roar contract, defender Shane Stefanutto said his decision to extend for another year was an easy one - bringing his football journey full circle.
Stefanutto-s lengthy professional career began as an 18-year-old at Brisbane Strikers, debuting at Suncorp Stadium in the now-defunct National Soccer League in December 1998.
And now, almost 14 years later, the experienced defender has ensured he-ll finish his career in the city in which it began.
“I-m happy to extend my time here and be a part of this group and this club,” Stefanutto said.
“I love Brisbane and I love the fact I-ll be finishing my career here.
“I-m not thinking about the end just yet but I don-t want to play for any other A-League club.
“It-s special - I started my career at Suncorp Stadium and I-ll finish it at Suncorp Stadium.”
In the time between, Stefanutto travelled across the world and back.
He spent six years plying his trade for the Strikers before swapping the NSL for the unfamiliar surroundings of Norwegian football, where he stayed for six years, returning to Australian soil in 2009.
In this time, the vocal left-footed player has seen his football skills and on-field leadership qualities flourish year after year - traits Stefanutto is confident will benefit the next generation of Brisbane Roar footballers.
“I definitely see leadership as part of my footballing package,” he said.
“I want to lead, be talkative and give good information - that-s my contribution to the side.
“I may not be a Thomas Broich or an Henrique but in terms of my experience, I can definitely use that to help the players around me.
“I-ve always been vocal, I remember being this same way when I was 14 or 15 years old.
“I can see it in some of the younger players here too - Mitch Nichols is very much like that and even Brattsy [Luke Brattan] is stepping into that role which is good to see.”
And when the time does come for him to hang up his boots, Stefanutto made it clear exactly what he wanted to be doing.
“I don-t want to just stay involved in football, I want to stay involved with the Roar,” he said.
“The direction of this club is so exciting and I want to be a part of it.
“The philosophy of the club is to promote from within - they-ve said that-s the Bakrie Group-s foundation of business, which is a wonderful model and a breath of fresh air.
“I just want to be involved, whether it-s in the community side, a coaching capacity or in the admin side of the club.
“If the opportunities there, I would love to see what role the club sees me fit into.”
Stefanutto-s one-year contract extension will see him at the Roar until the end of the 2013/14 season.