Search

Hammer Down Under: Fulham and Australia must plan for post-Schwarzer life

14:06 05 October 2012

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer picks up a bird on the pitch. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer picks up a bird on the pitch. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Our West Ham blogger takes a trip to Craven Cottage to watch an Australian legend

About our blogger

Name: Matt Rossleigh

Twitter handle: @Matt_Rossleigh

Regular attendee living in London this year from Australia

Favourite player: Mark Noble

Most memorable game: 2012 Championship Playoff Final

Predicted Finish: Mid-table

With West Ham given the weekend off by Sky broadcasters I thought I would head down to Fulham at home to Manchester City to get my Saturday football fix.

As I jumped off the tube at Putney Bridge and made the ten minute stroll through the park to the old, boutique ground I could hear some fans from afar singing, “One Mark Schwarzer!”

It had me thinking, Mark has been an outstanding keeper for club and country for two decades but for how long will there only be one Mark Schwarzer?

The Australian will celebrate his 40th birthday tomorrow but for how long can he still play at the top level.

Schwarzer, whose parents emigrated down under from Germany, earns the right to still be first choice at club and country but should both managers be putting in contingency plans for when the Australian calls it a day?

In David Stockdale Fulham manager Martin Jol has a more than capable replacement with the 27 year old impressing when standing in for the Australian and has even been called up to previous England squads.

The same goes at national team level with Adam Federici from Reading waiting in the wings to become the first choice keeper for the Socceroos.

Federici has already made seven caps for his country and replaced Schwarzer at half time in the August friendly with Scotland at Easter Road.

It won’t be long before Australia manager Holger Osieck has a selection headache on whom to give the number one shirt to – especially if the Socceroos’ poor World Cup qualifying form continues.

From three games so far Australia has yet to post a victory, with two draws and one goal with a daunting trip to the Middle East to face Iraq next week.

Schwarzer can take American Brad Friedel as a source of inspiration though, as the 41 year old is still the number one choice at Tottenham Hotspur despite the signing of French international Hugo Lloris.

The Australian will see the Asian Cup on home soil in 2015 as a possible swansong after hopefully guiding the Socceroos to the World Cup finals in Brazil a year earlier.

By that point the goalkeeper will be almost 43 years old and it remains to be seen as to whether Schwarzer will still be at the top of his game

That’s why it’s this blogger’s opinion that both Jol and Osieck should have plans in place for the next shot stopper to step in – even some of the best players have to retire at some point.

It is no disrespect to the great man who has impressive for many years in the Premier League, in Europe as well as at two World Cups.

He is already down in Australian folklore for his two saves in the penalty shootout against Uruguay to guide Australia to the World Cup finals in Germany for the first time in 32 years.

On Saturday against Manchester City the Australian pulled off a number of fine saves against an attacking force but both club and country need to be ready for the great man to retire.

For the time being the veteran shows no sign of doing that.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

35 minutes ago
Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett (left) exchanges high fives with Sam Solia

Hornsey spinner Johnny Fawcett blew away the Indian Gymkhana batting with the division’s first six-wicket haul of the season to put his side top of the Division Two table.

12:28
Chris Arul hit a century for Highgate in their win over Wembley

Highgate opener Chris Arul clobbered the Wembley bowling with a century to set up his side’s first Division Two victory of the season.

Yesterday, 15:15
Brondesbury spinner Anthony Wilkinson took four wickets. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury extended their winning run to five games in all competitions after another successful weekend.

Yesterday, 12:00
South Hampstead captain Leroy Shepherd (left) congratulates Touqeer Ahmad after his fourth wicket. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Touqeer Ahmad bowled a five-for and then hit an unbeaten 36 off 15 balls as South Hampstead triumphed for the second week in a row in a rain-affected Division Three match.

Mon, 15:06
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll (left) has praised Rob Fahrenheim (right), who hit 96 against Teddington on Saturday. Pic: Max Flego

New signing Rob Fahrenheim led a much-improved batting display from North Middlesex – but the Crouch End outfit suffered their second successive defeat in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Mon, 07:10
Middlesex's James Franklin bowling.

Middlesex all-rounder James Franklin fears the new County Championship toss rule is stifling the competition and generating “attritional cricket”.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Dominique Janssen went close with a last minute free-kick in Arsenal Ladies' 0-0 draw with Birmingham. Pic: Sylvester George

Dominique Janssen hopes Arsenal Ladies’ Wembley triumph will give them the self-belief to challenge Chelsea for the Women’s Super League title.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) celebrates a wicket with team-mate John Simpson

Middlesex’s bowlers will make former skipper Chris Rogers their top target when he returns to Lord’s with Somerset this weekend, according to Ollie Rayner.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe