EXCLUSIVE: An insight into a soccer legend ahead of game
SOCCER: One of the greatest ever soccer legends Robbie Fowler sat down with The Observer sports editor Nick Kossatch after a training session.
The newly-appointed Brisbane Roar head coach talks about what he will bring to the table for this Hyundai A-League season.
Fowler and the club have also embraced Gladstone hospitality and the facilities that Marley Brown Oval has to offer ahead of the Roar's pre-season clash against Gladstone Select Team today at 3pm at the venue.
NK: Pretty impressed with the Marley Brown Oval facilities are you?
RF: Look I think when you come to relatively unknown places in terms of what we are as a football club, you don't really know what to expect. Thankfully we come here and everything looks to be top notch. The dressing facilities are quite new and really quite good. You've got all the new analysis bits like the televisions and obviously as a football club you want the playing surface to be good as well.
NK: How have you settled into the Brisbane lifestyle?
RF: I've loved it. I've been to Queensland many times and I've spent a year up in Townsville. It's whetted my appetite for Australia. I obviously played over in Perth and loved the lifestyle and the football was good. I kept tabs up daily when I went back home. Obviously the fact is I'm back in Queensland and I really like the place.
NK: Where do you think the Roar can improve from the first two trial games? What are you going to bring out against Gladstone Select Team?
RF: I think you always try to improve and I don't think you as a coach and you as a manager, you should always be 100 per cent happy because you got teams and you got a bunch of lads who are excellent in what they do. You are always trying to get that little bit more out of them. You are always trying to be a little bit more demanding. It's no different to any other job if you like. As a boss in a factory you want your staff to perform that little bit better or whether you are a school teacher where you want your pupils to develop and grow. I'm exactly the same.
NK: Obviously the Roar finished ninth last season. What's your expectation?
RF: Demands and expectations are what they are and I know I'm here because it wasn't very good last year in terms of getting the right results and performances. Look, I'm happy with that because I think we can sort of grow and develop. A little selfishly, if we were excellent last year, then I wouldn't of have had this opportunity. So there comes a time within a football competition that managers lose their jobs. It's not ideal and it's not nice that people lose their jobs but it can work in our advantage because obviously we know we've got to get better. As a staff we know we can improve the players and get them to perform that little bit better and those results, I think will be better than what they were.
NK: What sort of style and mantra are you going to implement for the new season?
RF: There's different ways to play football and whatever we say doesn't really matter because you go out there and you want to play the right way. Of course we want to play good football. Certain games and certain teams will dictate how we play football. Of course we want to play short, sharp, nice intricate passing but in certain games you probably need a little bit more. Sometimes you might need to play a long ball and a long ball is not necessarily a bad ball. Sometimes a long ball is the correct ball and we're trying to get our players to see different pictures and create lots of combinations and lots of opportunities for each other.