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Apr 5, 2010

Fury hoping for Fowler's A-League return

North Queensland players have joined former Fury owner Don Matheson in appealing for Football Federation Australia to re-sign Robbie Fowler.

Fowler's future with the cash-strapped Fury, now under the control of the FFA, rests with the former Liverpool star taking a hefty pay cut.

FFA officials will begin talks with 16 existing Fury players from Tuesday as they start the process of building a 23-man squad for the 2010-11 A-League.

Fowler remains in England where he is reportedly earning his European coaching A licence.

With Fury coach Ian Ferguson told to reapply for his job but not expected to hold it, Fowler had been seen as a possible captain-coach in Townsville.

But A-League boss Archie Fraser has made it known the FFA aren't keen on the Fury appointing a player-coach.

Matheson, the man who lured Fowler Down Under with a lucrative three-year marquee contract, will speak with him on Tuesday.

The former Fury chairman-owner has pleaded with the FFA to do everything they can to keep Fowler at the expansion club due to his leadership, skill and standing in the game.

"It can't be understated what value he's been to the club," Matheson said.

"The FFA will want to be careful they don't let bean-counters run the game because they don't bring culture to a club."

Fury goalkeeper Justin Pasfield, who is in contact with Fowler, said he was keen to return and the team would be upset to lose him.

"He's a big part of our team and a big part off the field as well," Pasfield told The Townsville Bulletin.

"A player of his calibre, playing with him every day and being with him every day, you learn a lot of things."

Retired Fury player Robbie Middleby is set to be employed as the club's football operations manager and wants to keep the bulk of the squad together.

Former Socceroos and Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina has also been linked to the Fury role but he is reluctant to apply while Ferguson's contract stands.

The FFA will establish an advisory board in the coming weeks after the local business community went close to mustering the $2.5 million in funds to guarantee the club's future but failed to meet the mark.

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