Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has been appointed coach of A-League club Brisbane Roar, taking his first serious management role in the Australian top flight where he enjoyed a two-year stint as a player.
Fowler, who was briefly player-coach of Thai side Muangthong United before retiring in 2012, would take over the struggling Roar from the 2019/20 season on a two-year deal, the club said.
The 44-year-old has coached at the Liverpool academy since hanging up his boots but has had precious little management experience at the highest level.
“Just because I’m not as experienced as some of them, doesn’t mean I’m going to do as bad a job,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“You could have Juergen Klopp here, you could have Pep Guardiola, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be great managing Brisbane.
“I had a good career in terms of playing football. Now this is really the start of my managerial career,” added Fowler.
“There’s not going to be any stone left unturned. I’m going to do everything right. There are going to be plenty of hours on the training pitch to bring the club and the team up to speed.
“I’m really keen to get started and make a difference.
Capped 26 times by England, Fowler skippered North Queensland Fury in 2009/10 before the Townsville-based team collapsed under debts, then transferred to A-League rivals Perth Glory the following season.
He proved a popular drawcard in Australia and was top scorer at both clubs before heading to Thailand.
Fowler faces a big challenge to rebuild the once-mighty Roar, who have endured a miserable season and are ninth in the 10-team league with only four wins from 26 games.
Former boss John Aloisi resigned from the three-times A-League champions in December and caretaker Darren Davies has proved powerless to lift a team who suffered a 6-1 humiliation at home against the Newcastle Jets last weekend.
Fowler will attend the Roar’s season-ending game against Adelaide United at their Lang Park home on Thursday.
The Roar said they had undertaken an “extensive, detailed and robust appointment process” before settling on Fowler.
“(Brisbane) is confident that we have appointed an outstanding person and someone who is hungry to succeed,” Roar CEO David Pourre said.
Fowler will bring former Everton and Manchester City midfielder Tony Grant to Brisbane as an assistant coach, with Davies to also stay on in his staff.