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Jan 15, 2009

Fury hope to lure Fowler to A-League

A-League newcomers North Queensland are confident they will entice former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler to become their inaugural marquee player when he visits Townsville next week.

The former England international is expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday to meet with Fury coach Ian Ferguson and officials over a potential move to Australia.

Fowler, 33, was recently released by Blackburn Rovers after making just three appearances since joining from Cardiff City.

The striker has been linked with English Premier League rivals West Ham and MLS side Chicago Fire in recent days but the Fury are still expecting Fowler to show.

They are also confident the visit won't be wasted, as it ultimately was in 2007 when he was in talks with Sydney FC.

"We wouldn't have invited him here if we didn't think we were in the ball park," Fury chairman Don Matheson said.

"More importantly, we wouldn't have invited him if we didn't think he had something to contribute to the game and the club.

"On all fronts we're confident we're doing all the right things and there's a good opportunity we can secure him."

The Fury will use the attractive north Queensland lifestyle as the biggest selling point in their bid to sign Fowler.

"At the end of the day you've got to look at where he's coming from and the type of guy he is," Matheson said.

"He's got a young family with four kids and North Queensland is probably one of the safest and prettiest places to live and that's what we want to throw up to him.

"There's some great schools up there and it's going to be an area I think he's going to be pretty comfortable with."

Fowler scored 120 goals in 236 matches for Liverpool and had stints at Leeds United and Manchester City.

His high-profile signature would be a shot in the arm for the A-League and a huge coup for the Fury.

While confident of what the club had to offer, Matheson warned signing Fowler was no certainty, particularly if a bigger overseas club stepped in for him in the meantime.

"The A-League is where it is and there's only so much we can put out there and do (financially)," Matheson said.

"If we have to go toe-to-toe with one of those (overseas) clubs, we just can't do it, it's as simple as that.

"But I know from my earlier conversations with Robbie what he wants and what he's looking for in life now.

"I'm confident that the visit out here is not going to be wasted."

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