Fowler signing may be a poisoned chalice for the Fury

Adrian Musolino Columnist

By Adrian Musolino, Adrian Musolino is a Roar Expert

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32 Have your say

    Liverpool's Robbie Fowler celebrates scoring the third goal against 1. FC Kosice during the UEFA Cup, first round, second match at Liverpool's Anfield stadium Tuesday Sept. 29, 1998. AP Photo/Adam Butle
    One of the most protracted signings of a marquee player is finally over. Robbie Fowler, the former Liverpool great, is A-League bound heading to the North Queensland Fury. While his signing represents a significant development for the club and the league in general, question marks over his fitness cloud his potential as the “new Dwight Yorke” of the A-League.

    Not since Yorke, who helped boost crowd figures across the country and Sydney FC to the inaugural title, has a star name with such pulling power and recognition committed to a full A-League season.

    The popularity of the EPL has grown exponentially down under and the Fowler signing will help connect that supporter base to the A-League.

    The 33 year old has a formidable record and the ability of an A-League franchise to be able to sign such a star name, in particular a new franchise, demonstrates we do have some pulling power relative to the likes of the American MLS.

    With no real star name import gracing the A-League this season, Fowler will help boost crowd figures and interest throughout Australia and the EPL mad Asia.

    However, he has to play regularly to achieve that and there is the concern over his fitness having only played three games during his very brief stint at Blackburn Rovers while ankle injuries plagued his time with Cardiff City.

    There is also the concern of how Fowler will cope in the intense heat and humidity of North Queensland, quite different from the conditions he experienced in Cardiff and Liverpool!

    A worrying comparison can be made between Adelaide United’s marquee signing Paul Agostino whose return from Europe was plagued by injury.

    Let’s hope Fowler stays fit. The Fury needs him. The A-League needs him.

    Another star marquee failure will damage the A-Leagues reputation, we don’t won’t the league to become just a retirement home for washed up stars that don’t play regularly.

    The Fury have been well and truly trumped by Gold Coast United in the battle off the field before the clubs join the competition next season. Their expansion rivals down the Queensland coast have stolen much of the attention with a rash of stunning signings including the bombshell enticing of Socceroo Jason Culina and Johnny Warren medallist Shane Smeltz.

    The Fury’s signings thus far have been conservative to say the least. The current squad won’t send other A-League franchises into a panic like the Gold Coast United line-up will.

    The marquee player position at the Fury has been the subject of much speculation.

    Adelaide United defender Cassio was rumoured to be filling the position but backed out of the deal while Jade North signed on from Newcastle before he was released to complete his move to South Korea.

    Never the less, the Fury finally has their marquee player. A player with the pulling power worthy of the marquee tag, if he plays!

    Hopefully the Fowler signing will be the impetus in attracting quality players up north.

    Let’s just hope he can do the business on the pitch so he can have a positive influence off it.

    Adrian Musolino
    Adrian Musolino

    Adrian Musolino is editor of V8X Magazine, and has written as an expert on The Roar since 2008, cementing himself as a key writer who can see the big picture in sport. He freelances on other forms of motorsport, football, cycling and more.

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    The Crowd Says (32)

    • Columnist

      February 4th 2009 @ 12:32pm
      Brett McKay said | February 4th 2009 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      wow Adrian, it was only confirmed in the last hour or two, and already you’re raising doubts!?!

      You do make some valid points, I will grant you that though. But just as you say that Fowler’s signing will help connect the Australian EPL supporter base to the A-League, the same could be said about aging EPL players now eyeing the A-L as viable option for their latter playing years. The Heskeys and Campbells and Sherringhams and co (to pluck some old names) will be just as keen to see how Fowler goes, and if that brings more quality (ableit aging) talent from Europe, then it has to be a positive…

    • February 4th 2009 @ 12:34pm
      Finno said | February 4th 2009 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

      Holy Crap!!!!

      How that rabbit did the Fury manage that…..I bet they showed him Cairns and said it was Townsville.

      I would love to watch him live… anyone who who plays with Fowler will learn so much……

    • Roar Rookie

      February 4th 2009 @ 12:50pm
      jaymz said | February 4th 2009 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

      its a step up from their other so called marquee attemepts

    • Columnist

      February 4th 2009 @ 2:29pm
      Adrian Musolino said | February 4th 2009 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

      Brett, I agree, the A-League needs to tap into the supporter base who only follow EPL and ignore the A-League. Having Fowler here is a massive boost, especially for the Fury. Credit to them for snaring such a big name. I just hope Fowler stays fit and I worry about his lack of recent game time.

    • February 4th 2009 @ 3:45pm
      Dave said | February 4th 2009 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

      The name…its all in the name! Fowler (Liverpool legend) to new Oz outfit the Fury, already talking about it in the UK media.
      Will give HAL an even bigger profile and certainly the Fury plenty of publicity in the lead up to next season.
      Great news but…l hope he has been looking after himself and will be fit.
      Will be relishing the chance to booo him when he comes to Melbourne (MV and Man U supporter 🙂 )

    • Roar Guru

      February 4th 2009 @ 3:55pm
      Pippinu said | February 4th 2009 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

      Well done to the Furries – they needed some good news!

      All marquee signings carry some risk, this one no more so – we’ll all be the wiser in 12 months time.

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