By Kitinan Sanguansak - AFF Thai correspondent
|Fowler arrives in Thailand|
Thai fans’ dreams of watching a familiar name on TV play in the Thailand Premier League is only a step away after former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler flew in yesterday to thrash out his shock move to TPL champions Muang Thong United.
The 36-year-old, who scored 183 goals during his eight-year stay with the Merseyside club, is set to become by far the highest profile player to have play in the country’s top flight, with some details on his contract still to be ironed out.
Fowler’s arrival was the vindication of the giant leap the league has taken over the past few years, which saw a sharp increase of attendance in the competition that not so long ago struggled to draw interest from the public.
Observers believe the signing of the player nicknamed the “God” for his scoring exploits would be a big boon for the league in term of its growth, a notion that was strengthened by positive reaction of fans in general not only a group of Muang Thong supporters, some of those already indicating that they wanted to watch the games featuring Fowler.
A group of fans wearing Liverpool shirts as well as a contigent of local media arrived at the Suvarnbhumi airport around an hour prior to the arrival of Fowler’s flight. He drew a flood of flash bulbs from the waiting photographers when coming out of the arrival gate, with fans belting out chants of “Fowler! Fowler!”.
Asked about his expectation with the new club, Fowler, with weary eyes after a long-haul flight, said he did not set particular targets but hoped to do well for the team.
Early reports suggested that Muang Thong offered Fowler only a short term contract, however, Wiluck Lohtong, the club’s deputy chairman, said the Englishman would initially sign for one year while refusing to disclose more details of the deal.
“I think the initial contract would be one year. We’ve to take many factors into our consideration. On his wage, we can’t tell you on the exact amount but it’s the high sum worth of a player of his status.
Wiluck revealed the club hoped the capture of high profile player as Fowler would help improve the team.
“We want to become one of the top teams, continentally and internationally. To have a player, who once was a star in the English Premier League, shows our capacity.
"I have no doubt on his ability despite his age as I believe he could play in our league without trouble ,"said Wiluck.
Fowler will undergo a medical check-up today before being officially unveiled as Muang Thong player tomorrow.