Fowler to captain Fury

Robbie Fowler will lead North Queensland Fury FC through their historic debut Hyundai A-League season.

Robbie Fowler will lead North Queensland Fury FC through their historic debut Hyundai A-League season.

Coach Ian Ferguson has shown a change of heart to name Fowler as skipper and Robbie Middleby as vice-captain.

Ferguson has always maintained he wouldn't burden his marquee man with any further responsibility.

"I didn't want to put extra pressure on Robbie," Ferguson said.

"I wanted him to come here and enjoy being the marquee player but the boy's shown great qualities I've been impressed."

"He's only played three games and even when he wasn't playing he was still showing those leadership qualities I was looking for, when results weren't going too well he was getting around about the boys and geeing them up and giving them good advice, and that's what changed my mind."

Since arriving in North Queensland, Fowler's been plagued by injury, criticism of his physique and speculation over his commitment to North Queensland.

"Even if I didn't make Robbie captain, he's always been committed to the club," insisted Ferguson.

"As soon as he came here his intentions were good, no players came here for a holiday."

Having played at the game's top level during his sparkling career, 34-year-old Fowler said the appointment had put no extra weight on his shoulders.

"To be named as captain of this brand new franchise, it's a great honour, it's a great achievement in my eyes," the former English striker said.

"I came over here primarily to play football and this is a great bonus."

"I've played football for a living it's what I love doing and as far as I'm concerned there's no pressure on me, there's no pressure on any of our players, we're all here to enjoy the football and we all want to do as well as we can."

Despite missing out on the captaincy, 33-year-old defender Robbie Middleby said the new skipper had his and his team-mates' full support.

"He inspires us and he's someone that we listen to and I think he'll bring a lot of qualities to the team and I hope to help him out in any way possible," the former Sydney defender said.

"I've been up here for six months now and my family and myself absolutely love living here and we treat it like home, it is home for us now, and to get this honour is a privilege."