Cairns' Quivi signs on in Holland

Caoimhin Fowler is the latest Australian youngster to sign a professional football contract with a European club after joining Dutch top-flight side Vitesse Arnhem for the next three seasons.

“Quivi” as he is now known in Holland - after the Dutch had trouble pouncing his Gaelic name - is a 16-year-old attack-minded midfielder who grew up playing Futsal in the picturesque setting of Trinity Beach in Cairns.

Caoimhin is the eldest of five children, all of whom play football. His Dad comes from Dublin, Ireland and his mother is from Port Moresby Papua New Guinea.

Quivi has been on the radar of several of Europe’s biggest clubs including Liverpool, Feyenoord and Borussia Dortmund, but the teenager said he decided on Vitesse Arnhem because it was his best chance of playing regular football.

“The most important was confidence in the pathway to the first team,” he told FourFourTwo. “I was sure the coaching would be as good as all the best clubs in Holland and the facilities were very good. Above all was the ‘feeling’. They wanted me and my family were also happy to be in Arnhem.”

Quivi and his family were already been living in Holland before he signed his first professional contract.

His two sisters Ciara, 14, and Mary, 12, played for the Queensland Schools under-12 team at the national championships. They are both currently on trial with FC Twente under-16 team. 

Quivi said the move to Holland was a tough one initially but once they got past the language barrier, the Fowler’s settled into life in Holland like a regular Dutch family.

“It was very exciting when my family moved here and it still is,” he said. “Learning the language was always going to be a challenge but I have a good command of it now.

“Having other siblings made the learning easier for us all. As a family we love to cycle everywhere and best of all is the football.

“Every day we play football. In Holland I have learned a lot about tactics and continue to build my knowledge in this area. There will be a period for me to settle in but overall I will have no problem.”

The 171cm whiz kid scored his first goal for Vitesse in an official U19 match this week against Roda JC, helping his team win 4-2. The long bomb from outside the box shows his skill and talent.

Quivi did not spend any time in any elite youth programs in Australia, however. He played his youth football for the Leichhardt Football Club and at one time he was the captain of the Queensland under-12 schools team.

Quivi said that playing youth football in Queensland was often a very difficult one for him in Cairns, but the teenager knew he could make a career out of football and it was seminal moment in Spain that proved that he was able to make it.

“I played in a tournament in Barcelona in 2013,” he said. “I watched the Barcelona under-14 team play and realised I was better than some of the players. I knew then I could do it.

“In a way I think there were advantages being away from a main centre. It was difficult playing games in hot weather but I just did it.

“At times the fields were very dry and dusty and as I tended to get tripped a lot when playing would get dust in my eyes. I did a lot of intense training with my father and Scott Callaghan and this was difficult in the heat.”

The Irish national youth teams have also been knocking on Quivi’s door throughout his career. Quivi gave an insight into what it was like for young players with dual nationalities.

“I played in four games which were friendlies against the Netherlands under-15 and Hungary under- 17’s,” he said

“It was interesting to experience the international environment, but being Australian it was a bit difficult adapting socially.”

Con Stamocostas is a co-host of the A-League Snobcast with Rob Toddler, click here to listen the latest episode.