By Kitinan Sanguansak - AFF Thai correspondent
|Fowler at is first training session|
as a Muang Thong United player
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is looking forward to a new challenge after completing his shock move to Thailand Premier League champions Muang Thong United.
The 36-year-old dubbed the “God” by the Kop for his scoring exploits during his eight-year stay with the Merseyside club joined Muang Thong on a one-year contract with an option for an extension, with the club saying they spent around Bt20 millions for his services.
Fowler, who also won 26 caps and scored seven goals for England, was officially unveiled as Muang Thong’s marquee signing yesterday in a media room crammed by a big group of reporters at the the club’s home ground, Yamaha Stadium.
Even though the Englishman still has to wait for his first appearance for his new employers, with the second leg of the country’s top-flight league to resume at the end of this month, the club’s new recruit has already caused "Fowler Fever", with dozens of fans, several of them sporting shirts with his name, clamouring for his autograph outside the room.
Fowler greeted the local media, saying “Sawasdee Krub” which drew a big applaud before stating that he was happy to join the club which was as successful as Muang Thong, who have won successive league titles in the past two seasons.
“I want to say “big thank” to everyone involved in bringing me to the club. They have been a very successful club over the past few years. I hope it will continue after this.
“I’m looking forward to work with (Muang Thong coach Henrique) Calisto. It’s great challenge for me. I can’t wait to get back to the pitch and show you that I’m still good on the field,” said Fowler.
Fowler, who also played for Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United in England, dismissed a suggestion that playing in TPL was a step backward of his career.
“I think it’s unjust (to say the TPL standard is low). The league has progressed well over past few years and the teams got better. The professionalism of Muang Thong is fantastic.
“I’ve played for a few clubs and I think Muang Thong’s professionalism is unbelievable. I’m really impressed with that. Hopefully, with me now in the team, it gonna be better.”
Asked whether he was concerned with the humid conditions, Fowler believed he would have no problem in adjusting himself to the weather.
“Yeah, the weather is hot. I did play in Australia and I think the conditions were similar. It’s difficult to say whether you can adapt to the new conditions until you get there. But, I don’t see it as a problem.
“As a player, you should be able to adapt to wherever you play. I’m looking to play my football regardless of the weather.”
Having already had his first training with the new teammates, Fowler appeared relaxed on the adaptation to the team.
“It’s not totally difficult when you come to the new team. You come to know the lads with different names. I’ve changed clubs over past few years. I know it would take time to adapt to the certain things.
“But, I’m sure it would be fine. It’s good experience to train with them on the pitch and I’ll kick it on from that”
While admitting that scoring was what he loved to do, Fowler insisted the team would come first when asked whether he wanted to become the top scorer in the league, with the current leader on the scoring chart on 12 goals.
“It’s obviously good when you score the goals but as long as the team is successful. For me, the most important is the placing of the team in the table come the end of the season.”