VETERAN FOWLER MERITS HIS LAST CHANCE
DEAN Saunders says Lee Fowler has wasted his talent, which is probably true. Crawley’s new midfielder has never possessed the graft to go with his craft.
But the 31-year-old has also been very unlucky – never more so than when Saunders inadvertently shafted him.
Having flourished under the former Liverpool striker at Forest Green and Wrexham, Fowler leapt at the chance to join Saunders at Doncaster in 2013. Then flying high at the summit of League One, it was a chance for a Conference journeyman to prove his calibre under a manager who loved him.
Fowler signed on January 4. He starred as a substitute two days later. Then, on January 7, Saunders was lured away to manage Wolves. Fowler would play just three more games, all as a substitute, before being jettisoned back to NonLeague.
Since then he has gone nowhere. The New Saints, Cefn Druids. Games in Cwpan Word (yes, that’s Word) Cup.
By August of last year, Fowler was managing a Sunday side – he played for the White Bear in the Deeside Sunday League as recently as a couple of weeks ago while on noncontract terms with Nuneaton in the Conference – and coaching kids, firing off applications for managerial jobs whilst contemplating the end of his playing days.
Little wonder that when he left the pitch after scoring a spectacular debut winner against Preston, Fowler jokingly made Saunders promise he wasn’t going to bugger off again.
Now he’s got one last chance to prove that Saunders was right to call him the most naturally gifted player in League One.
If Fowler can run the show as he did for Wrexham (and he undoubtedly can), his best years yet lie ahead. For a bloke who’d basically retired six months ago, that would be some result.