New Australian A-League club North Queensland Fury said Thursday they were waiting for an answer from former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler on whether he would sign with them for next season.

Fowler, 33, who played 26 times for England up to 2002, returned to England last Thursday after checking out the Townsville-based club ahead of their debut 2009-2010 season in the A-League.

"We believe we are very close. We will know by the weekend, simple as that," Fury chief executive Don Matheson said. "And if it is positive it will probably take a few more days to work through logistical issues.

"But at the moment we are confident, but we are still a little bit fingers crossed as well. "Robbie has promised us that he will make his decision as quickly as possible." Fowler scored 120 goals in 236 league appearances for Liverpool and also played for Leeds United, Manchester City, Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers, where he was released last month after a short stint.

Matheson said the fledgling club were also in the market for senior Socceroo defender Scott Chipperfield. "We are very comfortable with our position with Scott," he said. "It would be tremendously exciting to have someone of Scott's stature at the club and we are pushing very hard for that to happen, but we are a lot closer with Robbie.

"We've definitely got the clout to bring both of these guys to the club. "We can afford both." Chipperfield, 33, who played for Australia at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finals in Germany, has made more than 200 appearances for Swiss Super League outfit FC Basel.

Fury have previously announced Ufuk Talay, Robbie Middleby, Jacob Timpano, Brendon Santalab and Jeremy Brockie on their playing roster for 2009/10.