Best of the West – Mark Schwarzer


Western Sydney has produced our two best ever keepers, so who do you rate higher? Bosnich or Schwarzer?

As Western Sydney Wanderers prepare for their Hyundai A-League debut, over the coming days we will look at some of the finest footballing talent to come out of Sydney-s western suburbs.

Think we-ve got the list wrong? Is there a player you think shouldn-t be mentioned or is there someone we-ve missed? Have your say below…

Hailing from Richmond in Sydney-s north west Mark Schwarzer, the son of German parents has since gone on to become Australia-s most-capped Qantas Socceroo and given the amount of time he dedicates to training and honing his skills between the posts that is little surprise.

The first choice number one for the better part of the last decade Schwarzer has earned his spot at the top of the tree when it comes to discussing Australia-s keepers and whether you consider our best to be Mark Bosnich or Schwarzer you would have to agree that Schwarzer has had the bigger impact on the international stage.

From the very beginning of his career for the Socceroos Schwarzer showed a knack for saving penalties and did so on debut against Canada in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, and it was a trend that would continue when he famously saved two penalties against Uruguay to send Australia to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

Those heroics would be his biggest achievement to date in his career and the Western Sydney boy continued to make good after that, and is still Australia-s first choice keeper to this day as he looks towards the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, by which time he would be 41 years of age.

While his career for the Qantas Socceroos has been stunning, Schwarzer has also enjoyed a huge amount of success as a club player throughout Australia and England and also had a short stint in Germany.

And while his career may have started in earnest with Marconi it was England where he would really make his mark, becoming the long-time first choice keeper at Middlesbrough and spending 11 seasons on Teeside where he would help them to a club high seventh-placed finish in the EPL in 2004/05 before helping them to the UEFA Cup final the following season.

Schwarzer would then move to Fulham and Craven Cottage, who could almost be regarded as the default team to support for travelling Australians and would enjoy more success making another European final, this time in the Europa League where they would be beaten by a Diego Forlan inspired Atletico Madrid in extra time.

Though he would stay at Fulham he received interest from one of the big five clubs of English football, when Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger came calling for his services, but ultimately Fulham refused the transfer request.

For now he stays with Fulham and is the sixth most-capped starting player in the history of the league with only Chelsea-s Frank Lampard and Manchester United-s Ryan Giggs in front of him as current players.