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

Kevin Wimmer:

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since replacing Jan Vertonghen – and he is aiming to keep it that way as he prepares to face Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s title showdown at Manchester City.

09:00
Left to right: Gareth Davies, Max Hanson, Joe Northover, head coach Paul Doyle, Renat Samur, Alex Vonckx, Max Green

Haringey Aquatics teenager Renat Samur recorded a double as the club collected a total of five gold medals at the ASA Middlesex Age Group Championships.

08:30
Back row (left to right): John Beckett, Joe Bruce, Wyn Bliss, George Everitt, Nick Corbett, Joe Beckett. Front row: Joel Robb, Ben Miller, Alfie Buxton

Haringey’s Under-13 indoor cricket side narrowly missed out on qualifying for the finals of the London Youth Games at Harrow Leisure Centre on Saturday.

08:00
Charlie Hodgson kicked three penalties in Saracens' victory over Exeter on Sunday. Pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall is confident his current squad can maintain the club’s momentum at the top of the table, despite the absence of key international stars due to the Six Nations.

05:28
Junior Gunners

Arsenal head up to Manchester United later this month for what is always one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of any season.

Yesterday, 15:49
Matt Botha scored Hampstead & Westminster's goal. Pic: Mark Clews

Hampstead & Westminster’s men returned from the winter break with a 3-1 home defeat against basement boys Canterbury, leaving them one point outside the bottom two in the Premier Division.

Yesterday, 15:41
Left to right: Amir Castronovo, Gabriele Giovannoni, Alexis Lambropoulos, Ella McEver, Marlie Rittenhouse, Julia Murphy and Ally Dill

Eleven-year-old rising star Brandon Biss led the way as Camden Swiss Cottage picked up 68 medals over three weekends of racing in the County Championships.

Yesterday, 15:38
Hendon's man of the match Harry Charles. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hendon progressed to the quarter-finals of the Middlesex Vase after coming from behind to beat Millfield Old Boys 40-21 in a rollercoaster encounter.

Most read 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

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe