Mark Schwarzer, according to The Mirror:
I have a contract until the end of the season and we will wait and see. I definitely want to play until the next World Cup. I have to get there first with Australia and see how we go.
Well, that’s not very encouraging. Is he in talks with the club?
Not at the moment no. I’m just trying to do the best I can and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season.
This is certainly something to monitor. The Australian has been absolutely stellar the last 2 months, playing out of his mind and almost single-handedly earning Fulham a number of points with penalty saves and diving stops.
However, it’s impossible to brush aside the fact Schwarzer is 40 going on 41 years of age. His aim is to secure a number 1 keeper job anywhere to ensure he can maintain his spot on the national side heading into the 2014 World Cup. Since he’s explicitly expressed that as his goal, I’d expect him to hang up his boots after that competition, but he’s smart to realize the importance of club play in keeping his national team job.
While he’s been fantastic this season and it’s always tough to see a player who’s given so much to the club leave with time left in his career, Schwarzer’s unsure frame of mind on whether he wants to return could be exactly the opening the club needs to plan for the future at his position. Fulham are in that tough spot with a seasoned vet locked into a position he may not exactly be qualified for much longer. It’s very hard for Martin Jol to bench a player of Mark Schwarzer’s stature at the club, but now this would give him a reason to look elsewhere and in the long run may be important for the club.
There are upsides and downsides to the Australian both leaving or staying, but whatever happens, his contributions to the Craven Cottage faithful will not be overlooked or forgotten.
Schwarzer will have to be replaced as well if he leaves. It would seem Fulham will not be able to retain both David Stockdale and Schwarzer, as both are capable of starting elsewhere and know it. Stockdale hasn’t had much of an opportunity this season, but the few moments he had earlier in the year were not his brightest. It seems Martin Jol doesn’t exactly fancy the Englishman, although if Schwarzer departs he may be the easiest – and therefore cheapest – option.