Fowler anoints Sturridge to set A-League alight

IT was his reference that helped guide Daniel Sturridge towards Australian football, and now former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler has backed his compatriot to set the A-League alight.

Perth Glory’s coup in signing Sturridge – announced to acclaim on Friday - came on the back of a lengthy text exchange between him and Fowler in the days before, with the latter uniquely placed to offer insight gleaned from his own stint in the A-League – including a year at Glory.

Once the deal was sealed, Fowler told this website that Sturridge’s experience, technique and attitude could only benefit those around him, as well as bring box-office appeal to the A-League when it kicks off next month.

“It’s an unbelievable signing and shows plenty of ambition from Perth,” Fowler said. “It’s a real message of intent both for the league and the club, because they’ve signed a player who is unbelievably gifted.

“Everything screams quality when you watch him play, it was like that for Liverpool, for England and it will be for Perth I’m sure. He’s had a great career in Europe and he’s still fit as, so I have no doubt from my own experience that he’ll be a success.

“I know it’s a tough league, stronger than people realise from the outside, and you have to be at your best to be successful in the A-League.

“I was able to give him a bit of an understanding, because I’ve got nothing but fond memories from my time in Perth, it’s a lovely part of the world and a real-deal club. I loved my time over there and Daniel will be playing in front of good fans in a good stadium, and he’s got the opportunity to make a big impression.

“Remember, he’s played at a World Cup and scored, played at the Euros and scored. His knowledge of the game is superb and that will help players around him.”

Fowler still follows the A-League closely, commenting positively on the rebranding unveiled last week and confirming he would be keen to resume his coaching career in Australia at some point after the fallout from COVID-19 curtailed his tenure as Brisbane Roar head coach.

Fowler still appreciates the longevity to his playing career that coming to Australia brought about, something he said Sturridge could also benefit from.

“Near the end of my career, most players will struggle to play two or even three games a week – mentally you can but physically it gets very tough,” he said.

“Nothing beats playing, and most of the time in the A-League you’re playing one game a week which meant I was able to keep going. For a player like Daniel, who’s had a few injuries, that’s going to be a big plus.

“He’s a proud lad who will want to impress, and I have no doubt he’ll do everything he needs to be in top condition and be the very best he can.”