Cairns upbringing helped teenager to European contract

Teenager Quivi Fowler has revealed how his Cairns upbringing guided him to a top European contract.

Quivi, 16, recently signed a professional contract with Dutch top flight side Vitesse Arnhem after moving to the Netherlands with his family when he was 15-years-old.

Eight months into his career with local amateur club BVV Barendrecht and Quivi was spotted by Vitesse and Borussia Dortmund scouts.

Quivi decided to put pen to paper with the Dutch outfit and said he was very emotional after finding out he had earned a contract with the Eredivisie team.

“It was a great feeling,” Quivi said.

“And another positive indicator that all the hard work and practice I did in Cairns had paid off.”

Quivi has since played four games for the under-19 team, scoring one goal and providing three assists. Describing his main strengths and as a footballer, Quivi said that he worked very hard to develop his physical strength and technical skills.

“Technically I believe I am very good,” he said.

“I am explosive, good at dribbling, have good vision and am creative. I am a hard working attacking player and like to be on the ball a lot.

“But above all I am very competitive, I like to score goals and provide assists. Winning is very important to me.”

For many young players, signing a professional contract with a top flight European club is the ultimate goal, but Quivi is aiming higher than just a career in the Netherlands.

“I want play in a World Cup and also in the Champions League for a top UK or Spanish club,” he said.

Quivi grew up in different circumstances to most modern kids due to the Fowler family’s unique upbringing in Cairns. Father Kevin helped guide his son to his footballing destiny and encouraged a specific mentality to help get him there.

“We had no TV, had no computer games and were generally always at football or the beach,” Kevin said.

“Our lifestyle and family culture played a big role but this is more apparent in hindsight. All my children do very well at school and generally in the top third academically.”

It wasn’t just education that Kevin had a big emphasis on. He had a big hand in Quivi’s coaching environment, making sure it was enjoyable but also hard work, particularly over the summer off-season.

“In our home you would trip over the footballs,” Kevin said.

“Quivi had a routine of getting up at 5am and he trained for an hour before school. It was not so much the conditions being suitable or not but more about adapting to these conditions and just doing it.

“Being a little isolated, Quivi also did many hours of his own training with and without the ball. He also spent many hours with a ball, slept with the ball and in a very real way had an emotional connection with the ball.

“He trained with men when he was  young and trained every day. Every Sunday he would play social football with a group of Japanese men which went on for up to three hours.

"He also trained with a men’s premier league team for almost two years. During the same period he played futsal in men’s teams. In these environments he learned a lot.”

Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.