Move to Fulham has renewed confidence says Schwarzer
Mark Schwarzer says his move to English Premier League side Fulham has renewed his confidence and resulted in one of the best seasons of his career for both club and country.
DOHA, June 6 AAP - Mark Schwarzer says his move to English Premier League side Fulham has renewed his confidence and resulted in one of the best seasons of his career for both club and country.
The Qantas Socceroos shot stopper joined the London club at the start of the season after 11 years with Premier League rivals Middlesbrough and proved an instant hit.
He helped Fulham to a highest-ever seventh-place league finish and his form along the way saw some rate him the goalkeeper of the year.
Such has his impact been at Craven Cottage under manager Roy Hodgson, initial talks are already underway to extend his contract beyond the end of next season.
Schwarzer, 36, revealed the move had given him a new lease on life after admitting he was lacking in confidence in his final years with Middlesbrough.
"When you know a club desperately wants you and they have a lot of faith in you, it automatically gives you a lot more confidence," Schwarzer told AAP.
"I have that at Fulham. I didn't really have that at the end with Middlesbrough.
"For me it was important to move on and have that feeling of being wanted and appreciated.
"When I left Middlesbrough a lot of people doubted whether I was still up for the task of playing the Premier League or thought that I was past my use by date.
"To prove those critics wrong is very satisfying."
Not only Fulham have benefited from Schwarzer's new-found self-belief.
He has also starred in Australia's World Cup qualification campaign.
Such is his form and fitness at the moment, Schwarzer believes there is even a small chance he could continue on with the Qantas Socceroos beyond the World Cup, should they qualify.
"I think my grand plan is to get to the World Cup and have a successful World Cup and then possibly look to move on after that," Schwarzer said.
"Whether that means straight away, whether I retire from the national team or I look beyond that, I'm not really sure yet.
"There's a slight possibility I might consider playing on for Asian Cup in 2011, but there's a lot of things that could come into play between now and then."
Schwarzer did, however, rule out the possibility of carrying on to the 2014 World Cup.
"I think that's a little beyond me now, to play at 41 is way, way too far ahead and I don't envisage it," he said.