A-League return pays off for Nth Qld’s Stefanutto

North Queensland Fury defender Shane Stefanutto is happy his return to Australia has already paid off.

The 29-year old joined the new A-League franchise just three weeks ago from Norwegian club FC Lyn Oslo amidst criticism that it may affect his national team chances.

But the move has not stopped Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek from picking him in his squad for an international friendly against Korea Republic in Seoul on September 5.

"I'd spoken to Pim before returning to Australia and he said then I was in his plans," Stefanutto sad.

"I wasn't really sure what the plan was to be honest - whether the squad to play Korea would be all international-based players or whether there would be some from the A-League.

"It shows Pim's a man of his word and it's very exciting for me. It's always exciting to get the chance to represent your country.

"I expect it to be a tough test," Stefanutto added.

"The Koreans are similar to the Japanese - they play a very technical style of game and they're explosive and sharp.

"We're going into their home ground and it will be a loud, hostile crowd I'm sure, but that's what you expect when you play away from home."

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