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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 24, 2009

Fowler close to moving Down Under

Robbie Fowler is mulling over a decision to join A-League side North Queensland Fury after meeting with club officials in Australia.

The 33-year-old former England international is currently without a club after his three-month deal with Blackburn was not renewed last month.

Fowler has been in Townsville this past week to meet officials of the Fury who are looking to finalise their squad list ahead of their first ever season in the A-League.

Fury coach, the former Scotland and Rangers midfielder Ian Ferguson, said Fowler had been impressed by the club's facilities and that he would make a decision after speaking to his family.

"He just came over for five days. He wanted to see lifestyle and I think he liked it," Ferguson told Radio Five Live.

"It's down to if he wants to move and live this lifestyle. On the football side of things he is reasonably happy, he likes what we have to offer.

"But it is down to his family and whether they want to settle. It's whether they want to live in sunshine and tropical conditions 300 days a year because we can offer that."

Ferguson said that should Fowler accept an offer from the Queensland club he will be the franchise's marquee player when the next season kicks off in August.

A-League clubs are bound by a salary cap, but they are allowed one marquee player who falls outside that restriction.

"I've got a budget and the budget is very small, but Robbie can fit outside the salary cap," Ferguson added.

"Marquee players have to be an international and a big name and Robbie is certainly that."

Ferguson also believes the less hectic A-League schedule will benefit Fowler.

Currently the season consists of just 21 regular-season games, plus play-offs, although the addition of two new teams next season will increase the regular season to 28 games.

"We play just one game a week so given that Robbie is in his 30s that will benefit him a bit more," Ferguson added.

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