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Jason Spagnuolo: First North Queensland Fury, then Asia

Robbie Fowler may be the star attraction, but for Singapore fans they'll also get the chance to see an Asian Champions League finalist when North Queensland Fury touchdown this week. The Fury will face Tampines Rovers at Jalan Besar Stadium on May 31 in a game which will officially mark the Australian club's introduction to Asian club football.

And among the players on view will be midfielder Jason Spagnuolo, who was part of Adelaide United's run to last season's Champions League final, which was eventually won by Japan's Gamba Osaka.

"I haven't been to either city, but I have been to Singapore airport with all the travelling we did last year (with Adelaide United)," Spagnuolo joked with tribalfootball.com last week. "We plan to have a good hitout against quality opposition and it will also be good for the boys to get together and learn more about each other."

Spagnuolo actually demanded a release from his Adelaide contract to make the move to North Queensland, where he now working for Rangers legend Ian Ferguson.

"He is great. He demands the best and creates a great atmosphere," admits the midfielder. "He wants the best so it makes you get the best out of yourself.

"Overall it has been great working under him so far.

"It's my first time away from home so it's been great to become independent. The club is very professional and of course the weather here is great.

"It's been good to focus on training and working hard at a new club."

Several media and supporter functions have been organised for the Singapore fans to get up close to Liverpool legend Fowler and Spagnuolo says they won't meet a more down-to-earth character.

"Preseason has been great with Robbie because he is such a massive player," says Spagnuolo. "He just goes about things normally and takes time to have a chat to everybody and doesn't think he's above anyone.

"That's the best about him, that a player of his calibre is just a normal guy."

He added: "The trip to Singapore will be good because everybody is new and out to impress.

"It provides some pretty intense training which is the way it should be with everybody starting afresh and trying to do their best. Everybody is pushing to get in the team so the match (in Singapore) should be a good one.

"It's a good chance to push for the team before August (A-League season kick-off)."

Spagnuolo is one of several at the Fury with experience in Asian club football, including S-League veterans Stewart Petrie and Brendon Santalab, who both enjoyed spells with Geylang United.

While determined to make an instant impact at his new club, Spagnuolo admits ambitions beyond Australia's A-League and won't rule out playing in Asia - and possibly Singapore - later in his career.

He says "One day I would consider it but having just made the move to North Queensland from Adelaide, I am already starting afresh.

"At the moment I am just focused on settling here and playing football with North Queensland but one day down the track, who knows?"

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Tribal Football Staff

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