Roar veteran says NQ team could be answer for A-League
With Wellington's future in the A-League under a cloud, and Football Federation Australia looking at options for new teams, Shane Steffanuto has the perfect solution.
Go back to the future in north Queensland.
Born and raised in Cairns, the Brisbane Roar left fullback will head back to his old stomping ground this weekend when the Roar takes its home game against the Phoenix to the redeveloped Cazaly's Stadium.
Not only is the 35-year old from the region, he also played for the North Queensland Fury in the 2009-10 season when it was based in Townsville.
And he wasn't shy about suggesting the A-League should have stuck with the franchise that was removed from the competition in 2011 due to financial instability.
"I always remember the Cowboys saying 30% of their crowd comes from more than an hour and a half out of the city (Townsville)," he said.
"So maybe they (the FFA) should've (continued supporting the Fury) in hindsight.
"But it was very difficult for the Fury being a start-up club and knowing the correct plan about getting into Cairns, and getting down to Mackay and getting out to Mt Isa.
"But I've heard about the redevelopment of the stadium up there, and I know the council has been very supportive.
"I hope that kicks along their plans for future involvement in the A-League."
The game at Cazaly's Stadium, which has hosted annual AFL games in recent seasons, will be the first A-League match in the city.
And Steffanuto promised the fans the Roar wouldn't change its up-tempo game plan despite the expected stifling conditions, although he said he wasn't sure what Wellington's game plan would be.
"It's difficult to say how Wellington comes," he said.
"They'll be motivated like us, so we're just going to have to worry about our own game - compete and keep doing things at a high tempo.
"I believe we've got the players and the style to be successful and to have a good result."
After starting the season strongly, Brisbane has dropped to fourth with two draws and a loss from its past three games.
But Steffanuto said he believed it was just a case of the team taking its chances in front of goal.
"We just need to touch things up in the final third and put a bit of polish on it," he said.
"It's no issue there.
"We've said from the start we want to keep improving and playing the brand of football that we like to play," he added.
"We've done that over the previous weeks.
"I'm sure if we keep doing what we're doing the results will come, there's no doubting that."