Stefanutto set for Fury debut

North Queensland Fury has added Qantas Socceroo Shane Stefanutto to its playing ranks after coaxing the defender back from Norway on a three-year deal.

North Queensland Fury has added Qantas Socceroo Shane Stefanutto to its playing ranks after coaxing the defender back from Norway on a three-year deal.

Stefanutto's signature is a big boost to the fledging club, which lost its opening Hyundai A-League match to Sydney FC 3-2 on the weekend. Fury head coach Ian Ferguson is confident Stefanutto will play in Saturday's Queensland derby against Gold Coast United.

"Shane's a Socceroo and it's fantastic that the club has been able to attract him … he'll provide some depth and stability at the back," Ferguson said.

"It's massive for the club - he brings experience from playing overseas in a high level of competition and Shane is the type of player who will play directly and move things forward rather than taking the momentum out of the game."

The 29-year-old, who was born in Cairns, has spent the last five years in Norway, playing firstly for Lillestrom and then Lyn Oslo.

"When you bring in a player of Shane's stature, it's good for morale and gives us the lift we're looking for," Ferguson said.

"That's not me being too down on the result against Sydney FC - there were some negatives - but there were also a lot of positives and we'll work on all areas this week."

"We've got some players to come back from injury who will be pressing for spots and its going to be harder for any of the boys to get a start with the talent in the group and the commitment they're showing."

Stefanutto has played two games for Australia, making his debut against China in 2007 and then playing in the World Cup qualifier against Japan at the MCG in June.

He will be hoping that the extra game time he will get with the Fury will help him stay on Pim Verbeek's radar ahead of next year's World Cup.