Fowler: 'It's taken me a long time to get back. Thankfully now I'm here'
New Brisbane Roar head coach Robbie Fowler was given a divine reception when he first graced the Hyundai A-League with his presence 10 years ago.
The legendary Liverpool forward was given the nickname 'God' during his time as a prolific goalscorer for the English Premier League club and was welcomed to Australia on similar terms when he signed for North Queensland Fury in February 2009.
Fowler had little left to prove as a player after a glittering career for club and country, but now the tables have turned for the new face at Suncorp Stadium, who must prove his worth at the helm of the struggling Queensland club.
Fowler, 44, has signed a two-year contract with Brisbane, ending the team’s four-month hunt to replace ex-Caltex Socceroo striker John Aloisi, who resigned in December 2018.
It is the former England international's first full-time senior professional coaching role, although he had a brief stint as player-coach with Thai outfit Muangthong United in 2011/12.
Fowler insists nothing will be left to chance in his quest to bring the glory days back to Brisbane, and to prove wrong those who are sceptical of his ability to translate a magnificent playing career into the managerial dugout.
“I knew I wanted to come over here, I knew I wanted to show people how good I could become,” Fowler told a media conference on Tuesday.
“I’ve worked hard getting my job, I wanted people to take me seriously, that’s why I went down the route of doing all my [coaching] badges.
“I think I’ve shown people just how passionate and how committed I am by coming over here.
“There’s not going to be any stone left unturned. I’m going to do everything right, there’s going to be plenty of hours on the training pitch to bring the club and the team up to speed.”
Despite his lack of experience in the dugout, Fowler is no stranger to the Hyundai A-League having played for North Queensland Fury (in 2009/10) and Perth Glory (2010/11).
“A few people said I came over here [as a player] for a jolly-up," Fowler said.
I loved my time, I worked really hard and hopefully the people who I played with learned something from me.
“I went home and never stopped watching the A-League. I’ve watched the teams all the while. It’s taken me a long time to get back and thankfully now I’m here.”