Brisbane Roar defender Shane Stefanutto brought the A-League grand final celebrations to Toowoomba yesterday.
Brisbane Roar defender Shane Stefanutto brought the A-League grand final celebrations to Toowoomba yesterday. Bev Lacey

Roar celebrations come to town

BRISBANE Roar star Shane Stefanutto said it only yesterday started to sink in just what his team had achieved in the A-League.

Stefanutto visited Toowoomba yesterday for a barbecue to help thank the many volunteers who helped clean up the Luxury Paints store in Bowen St that backs on to East Creek after the devastating January 10 floods.

The A-League championship trophy and keys to Brisbane City also made the trip with Stefanutto and he said the enormity of the 28-match winning streak and spectacular penalty shoot-out victory over Central Coast in Sunday’s grand final had just started to feel more reality than dream.

And who wouldn’t call the way the Roar came back from 2-0 down with four minutes to go in extra-time to then win in a penalty shoot-out worthy of a dream?

“It’s been amazing. I was just saying today it’s actually starting to sink in a bit about what we’ve done and what we’ve achieved,” Stefanutto said.

“After the game there were people asking me about what had happened and it was just a blur still. To have this medal around my neck, I didn’t think we could do it. I thought we might have thrown it away.

“It’s been amazing.

“The ticker-tape parade in Brisbane city is something I never thought I’d see for a soccer team in Queensland so it’s been amazing.”

And given the natural disasters that have crippled the state since December, Stefanutto was happy to visit those in Toowoomba who helped lend a hand in getting the Bowen St Luxury Paints store back in business.

He also hoped the Roar’s win had put a smile on the faces of Queenslanders.

“I hope it has boosted the spirits of people in Queensland, I really do,” he said.

“Everyone has been affected. It’s been Ipswich, it’s been you guys, it’s been North Queensland where I’m from as well.

“So to put smiles on the faces of at least – let’s say there were 50,000 people there and there had to be another 200,000, 300,000, 400,000 people who watched the game as well – I hope it has lifted their spirits and it is for the people of Queensland that’s for sure.”

Toowoomba’s Daniel Bowles, who is part of the senior Roar squad, will also hold a special place in Stefanutto’s memory of Sunday’s spectacular win.

“The funniest picture, and I’ll always remember this of Bowlesy, he was in his suit and he tries to hug Thomas Broich or someone and he slips over in his suit,” Stefanutto said.

“Then he just gets up and keeps celebrating. It was brilliant.

“It’s so good. We’ve been giving it to Bowlesy all week about that one.”

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