Fowler's marquee Fury deal ''hinges on family''

January 19, 2009
By Liam FitzGibbon

A-League newcomers North Queensland believe they have convinced Robbie Fowler to become their inaugural marquee player - now he just has to sell it to his wife and kids.

As the former Liverpool striker spent Tuesday relaxing on Dunk Island off the coast of north Queensland, Fury officials were confident they had done everything they could to pull off what would be a massive coup for the A-League.

The 33-year-old, who was released after a failed stint at Blackburn recently, arrived in Townsville on Friday to meet with Fury coach Ian Ferguson and chairman Don Matheson.

He has since been viewing the club's facilities, looking at houses and schools in the city and on Tuesday was flown by the club to the exotic island on the Great Barrier Reef to soak up more of what the area had to offer.

Fowler admits he's been impressed by what he's seen and Matheson said he believed Fowler wanted to join the club, now only having to convince his wife and four young children to make the move from London.

"I think if it was his decision to make on the spot he'd be here," Matheson told AAP on Tuesday.

"But I guess in all fairness, with four kids, his wife's sort of very happy where they are and he's got to get through that.

"I can't make any representation of what his decision is going to be except for the fact we've done our best and the noises he's making are very good."

Fowler, nicknamed `God' by Liverpool fans, has been highly impressed since arriving in Townsville.

"I have nothing but good things to go home and speak to my wife about in terms of the club and facilities," the ex-England international told the Townsville Bulletin on Tuesday.

"To say I am impressed is probably an understatement in terms of what they have shown me in the club situation."

Fowler also visited Australia in 2007 when he was on the verge of joining Sydney FC but the deal ultimately fell through.

Despite that, he said he would not have visited Townsville unless he was serious about joining the Fury and was also adamant he still had plenty to offer as a player.

"I think the fact that I have come over here shows that I am keen," he said.

"You are talking a 24-hour trip to get here, it's a long way to come to give people false impressions."

Fowler will head home to the UK on Thursday and has told Fury officials he will make his decision within a week of his return.

Meanwhile, the club's other potential marquee target, Socceroos midfielder Scott Chipperfield, is set to join German club Hertha Berlin until the end of the season - subject to a medical - with an option to extend the contract for another year.

But Matheson did not rule out Chipperfield as a target if the Fowler deal fell through.