Mark Schwarzer says he`s good enough for first 11
Kuala Lumpur: Veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer may be a new addition to the Chelsea squad but on Saturday he pulled no punches, telling reporters he was aiming for a first team place for the coming season.
"When I signed for Chelsea, I knew they had top quality goalkeepers, and the competition for a starting place would be tough," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
"But with hard work and good performances, I can show that I am good enough to play in the first 11," he said.
Schwarzer signed on a free transfer earlier this month after spells at Fulham and Middlesbrough.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said last week that Schwarzer would provide valuable competition and motivation for number one goalkeeper Petr Cech, after handing the Australian international a surprise role at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho made clear that he regarded Cech as the world`s best goalkeeper, but he said Schwarzer gave Chelsea "security" as a vastly experienced and highly rated back-up.
Schwarzer, who has played in the Premier League for 15 years, is one of the few to have amassed over 500 appearances in the league`s history.
And the 40-year-old still has a burning desire to perform at the highest level.
"If you asked me five years ago if I would see myself here today, I would`ve said no. But what I have learned from that is you never say never, anything is possible," he said.
The English Premier League team is visiting Malaysia as part of a pre-season Asia tour. They have already been to Thailand and will play in Indonesia after meeting a select Malaysian squad in a friendly on Sunday.
Schwarzer insisted the London rivalry between his last club Fulham and Chelsea would not affect his reputation with The Cottagers.
"There`s always rivalry between Fulham and Chelsea, without a doubt. But my rapport with the Fulham fans was excellent," he said.
"I had some fantastic times there. I showed respect for them and they did the same. But things move on, I`ve moved to another club and am looking forward to next season."
When asked if he has intentions of playing in next year`s World Cup, Schwarzer said, "Well, that`s the plan."
His one-year contract runs until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, for which Australia are already qualified.