Mark Schwarzer extends Fulham deal with 2014 aim
Thursday 19 January 2012
The Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has agreed a contract extension to keep him at Craven Cottage until summer next year. The Australia international, 39, also wants to become one of the oldest footballers to have played at the World Cup.
Schwarzer, who is currently sidelined with a back injury, said yesterday: "I love playing and want to continue for as long as possible, as long as the performances are there. I like to set myself targets. The 2014 World Cup is my goal without a doubt."
Formerly with Middlesbrough, Schwarzer, who joined Fulham on a free transfer in 2008, will be aged 41 years and eight months when Brazil hosts the next finals, with only the Cameroon striker Roger Milla having played at the tournament when older. Schwarzer is the Premier League's second oldest current player, behind Spurs' 40-year-old goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
"I'm enjoying my football as much as ever and I try to maximise every opportunity I get," Schwarzer said. "The saying I use is, 'I'll be a long time retired', so I want to do the best job I can.
"There's plenty of time to feel tired when you're retired. Now is the time to enjoy it. I look at Brad Friedel and he's older than me so I'll keep going as long as he's going. He said to me he's going to play for at least another two seasons so I've got at least that."
Schwarzer was ruled out of action for up to six weeks after sustaining a compression injury to his thoracic spine against Swansea on 10 December. England squad member David Stockdale was recalled from a season-long loan at Ipswich Town to deputise.
Fulham have signed 17-year-old midfielder Jack Grimmer from Aberdeen. The teenager will join the club's development squad for the remainder of the season, having agreed a three-year contract with the London club.
Grimmer became the youngest Dons player when he made his debut against Rangers in April 2010, aged just 16 years, two months and 13 days.
He made three first-team appearances for the Pittodrie club but has not featured during this campaign. Fulham paid a fee of about £200,000 for the midfielder, who was under contract until the summer.
"We received full value on the training compensation side, while agreeing to further add-on terms," said Aberdeen's chief executive, Duncan Fraser. "We made Jack an extremely good offer to remain at Pittodrie, having signed him straight from school."
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