We completed the signing of Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer on Tuesday evening, and the goalkeeper spoke to the official Chelsea website at Cobham after putting pen to paper on his one-year contract.
Mark, welcome to the club. What are your initial thoughts on becoming a Chelsea player?
It’s a phenomenal club. It’s one of the biggest and best clubs in the world, and it’s an honour to sign for Chelsea. I didn’t take much convincing to come here.
There must have been a lot of interest in you since you decided to leave Fulham?
There were other interests but once I knew Chelsea was interested it was very much the case that I wanted to try and make it happen. I’m very fortunate and delighted to be sitting here today.
You’re obviously familiar with this part of the world too, having spent five years with Fulham?
I am. I live closer to here than my previous club. There were a lot of things that ticked all the boxes, but most of all Chelsea Football Club is an enormous club and I think a club that can re-establish itself as the best club in the country. It has an unbelievable manager and an unbelievable squad of players and it’s very exciting.
Have you spoken with Jose Mourinho yet?
I have yes, a couple of times, and a few of the players now as well, so it’s all systems go really. It’s a new beginning for the club, very exciting times and I’m just as excited as anyone else.
What will your targets be?
I still have a lot of aspirations to play for my country. I want to play another World Cup, we’ve just qualified for Brazil and I want to continue to play at the highest level for as long as possible. Obviously Petr is a fantastic goalkeeper and the number one goalkeeper at Chelsea but I am here to help push him along, he will hopefully push me along and help the younger keepers at the club as well. I’m very excited of the challenges ahead.
Have you been keeping in shape over the past few weeks?
You have to. The days are gone where you don’t come back in good shape. You have to look after yourself and I for one have always done that. It’s vitally important you continue to do it and I’m ready to hit the ground running.
Finally, how have you thought of Chelsea as opponents down the years?
As a very, very good side. Chelsea have always played up there with the top teams in the country, one of those teams you wanted to beat, which goes part and parcel with being one of the top clubs in the country and the world. They’ve always been a formidable opponent and not so long ago I was on the receiving end of a defeat. I know what it’s like to play against Chelsea and I’m excited about playing with them now.