Fowler: Don't write Fury off

Perth star signing Robbie Fowler has warned against under-estimating his old club North Queensland as the Glory and Fury prepare to do battle on Friday night at nib Stadium in the Hyundai A-League's opening round.

Perth star signing Robbie Fowler has warned against under-estimating his old club North Queensland as the Glory and Fury prepare to do battle on Friday night at nib Stadium in the Hyundai A-League's opening round.

Most pundits have North Queensland short odds to take out the league's wooden spoon in 2010-11 after a pre-season of discontent that saw original Fury chairman Don Matheson withdraw his support for the fledgling club at the end of their first season.

Matheson's move saw Football Federation Australia (FFA) take over North Queensland's finances, resulting in all player contracts, including Fowler's, being voided.

But despite the club having struggled to merely put a list of players together during the off-season, Fowler said there was no chance his new club, the Glory, would be under-estimating the Queenslanders when the team's clash in Perth on Friday night.

"I, like a lot of players in this team, do not think it will be a rollover," said Fowler on Monday.

"I see they've recruited well, there's some great players."

"They've got six or seven, maybe more, players who are making their debut who won't want to put a foot wrong, so they'll all be up for it but come the day our players will as well."

Having scored nine goals from 26 matches as Fury skipper last season, Fowler said all the negative comments in the media about North Queensland could come back to haunt the writers.

"We've had a few spies who've went and watched them and by all accounts they've been playing very, very well pre-season," said Fowler, referring to North Queensland winning five out of six pre-season games, albeit with only one win against a fellow Hyundai A-League side.

"So just to re-iterate, it will not be an easy game and you know, reading all the press and all the so-called experts who are writing them off, I think it happened with us last year."

"You know everyone wrote us off and it sort of spurred the players on a little bit. All them players will be riled up for it and you know, I can't say how tough a game it will be, 'cause it will be really, really tough."

Despite playing just two halves for his new club in a pre-season campaign that's seen the Glory win all six matches, Fowler believes he's fit and ready to play a full 90 minutes if asked by coach Dave Mitchell.

"I feel okay," declared the 35-year-old Liverpool legend. "I'm obviously a little bit older and experienced and I know when to run and when not to run."

"So I think it's about channelling your energies into different parts of your play, so I feel as though I could play for 90 minutes."

"I feel good actually, I probably would have liked to play a few more games pre-season but it's been a long pre-season and I've done everything else that was asked of me apart from the games."

"Off the pitch the lads have mixed very well and you know I liken it to what we had last year at Townsville ... the camaraderie was there for all to see."

"The season is a big season for us, so as long as I'm ready for the main games that's the main thing."

In other North Queensland news, the Fury announced on Monday that they have signed Ugandan international striker Eugene Sseppuya as their marquee player this season.