Brisbane Roar fullback Shane Stefanutto has announced his retirement after six seasons with the Hyundai A-League club.
The 36-year-old leftback has played 145 games across all competitions (138 for the Roar – 2010 to present; 7 for North Queensland Fury – 2009/10).
“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,” Stefanutto said as he hung up his boots for the last time.
“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.”
He appeared in 134 Hyundai A-League games for Brisbane, starting in 131 of those matches and clocking more than 11,500 minutes.
He won three Championship medals, two Premierships, nine appearances in AFC Champions League and qualification (including a goal against Ulsan Hyundai in 2012), played in Norway and won three Socceroo caps between 2007 and 2009.
Roar Head Coach John Aloisi today thanked Stefanutto for his loyalty and dedication to Brisbane Roar.
“You knew with Stef you were always getting 110 per cent whether it was in the game, on the training field or in the dressing room,” Aloisi said.
“He is a leader on and off the pitch and retires having given this club everything he had.
“I speak on behalf of everyone associated with the club in saying thank you Shane for a wonderful career.”
Stefanutto is a North Queensland product who played his junior football at Edge Hill.
After initially gaining exposure with Cairns representative teams then the Fury, his parents Diane and Frank and sister Nicole made the huge decision to relocate to south-east Queensland to allow him to further his football career.
“It was a life-changing moment for me and all of us,” said Stefanutto.