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Fulham Football Club, and Australia Socceroos goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer, chats exclusively to TNT about his four-years at Fulham, his hankering to play in the Champions League, missing the beaches back home and the song that puts a lump in his throat.

How are you enjoying London?

I’ve been here three and a half years now, and I’m in my fourth season at Fulham, and I love it. My wife and I and our kids have really enjoyed moving down here and spending our time here. it’s been brilliant.

Where do you go in your spare time?

We love central London. We love to tour around Harrods and Brompton road and the streets around the back of Harrods. There are a couple of streets which are really nice and boutique-y, with cafés and bistros, too. London is just a fantastic part of the world to be in, and the best place to be in England, that’s for sure.

Are you happy playing at Fulham?

Very much so. I’ve committed to Fulham for another 18 months and very much enjoying the Premiere League.
You wanted to move to Arsenal at one point. Do you still harbour ambitions to join the Champions League?
Those ambitions are always there. Whether they are feasible or not, who knows. But I’ve enjoyed my time at Fulham and there are no plans for me to move on as yet. If the opportunity ever arose, and the club thought it would be good to let me go, then so be it. You always have to look at that opportunity, but until such time I’m enjoying every minute of being at Fulham.

You’re turning 40 in October. When are you going to hang up the boots?

I’m supposed to not be playing any more! But I like defying the critics and I like surprising people and I’m enjoying my football as much as ever. As long as I’m still performing at my highest level and I’m still doing well enough and I’m fit enough, and being expected to play, then I want to be playing as long as possible.
My ultimate goal is to get to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with Australia and I want to continue playing with Australia until that time. 2014 would be the maximum for me with a national team, that’s for sure. I can’t think of a better way to go out than playing for your country in a World Cup.

Do you think you’re still improving as a player?

I look every day to try to improve on being a goalkeeper, and as a player, as best I possibly can. The work you do on a training field – and even off the training field to a large extent – is always designed to try and improve you as a player, as an athlete.

How is the Australian team shaping up?

So far it’s been very, very positive. We’re through to the final stages of the qualifiers, with one game to spare. We’re at the top of the group and can’t be overtaken, and we’ve got another game in February, which is a big game against Saudi Arabia. It’s a big game more from the perspective of the stability of the group. Any one of the three teams that are in our group can still qualify through to the final stages, so for us it’s always about wanting to win every possible game as well. We’ve got every intention of going out against Saudi Arabia in February to win the game.

Do you think there is enough fresh talent coming up through the ranks?

I think so. There’s a good mixture of players at the moment coming through and they’re trying to gain valuable experience slowly, but surely. They are showing a lot of promise. It’s a transitional period, and it will be an ongoing transitional period, because there will be a whole lot of us over the next couple of years that will be retiring.

Do you watch the A-League in Australia?

I do, as much as I possibly can. I’m always having a look to see how the teams are going and in particular Sydney because I’m from there. It’s always interesting to see players there that you play with in the national team. You like to see them play well.

Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton went back home to play in the A-League. Would you do the same?

Of course! it’s very well documented how well they’re doing over there in Australia and the impact they’ve had on the A-league. That’s brilliant for Australian football.


An interview with Mark Schwarzer
Digital Mag

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