Culina and Schwarzer looking forward to clash

Qantas Socceroos team-mates Jason Culina and Mark Schwarzer will become rivals on Wednesday night when Gold Coast United takes on English Premier League club Fulham.

Qantas Socceroos team-mates Jason Culina and Mark Schwarzer will become rivals on Wednesday night when Gold Coast United takes on English Premier League club Fulham.

Culina and Schwarzer have amassed 108 Qantas Socceroos caps between them and were instrumental as Australia charged towards the 2006 World Cup, but their alliance will be shelved for ninety minutes with neither club prepared to give an inch in the lead up to their respective seasons.

While Culina knows the value of a big game against Fulham, he downplayed the importance of the clash.

"We are a new side, it takes time to gel and get to know each other and that is what we are here to do," he said.

"The way I look at it, football is a game of eleven players on a side. Every player does his job, every player is important to his team and I'm one of those players that will possibly make some sort of difference."

In line with Gold Coast's plans to be an entertaining team, the midfielder hinted at a change to his own game which could see him cut loose as he is handed some more free reign.

"I am playing more of an advanced role than I have in the past, I really enjoy it. Tomorrow will be a good test to see how far we have come as a team," he said.

If Culina does get out in the clear he knows that there will always be one more man that he has to beat.

"Schwarzer is a great keeper, he has shown that in the past for Fulham and the Socceroos but hopefully we can score a few past him," he said.

Meanwhile, Schwarzer - who only joined the team on Tuesday - insisted there would be a fierce but friendly rivalry when the two teams hit the pitch.

"Of course there will be, whenever you play a game of Football you want to win, regardless of who you are playing against," he said.

"Knowing what Jason's like, the type of commitment he shows and how professional he is, I personally believe he will be in the best possible shape for this match."

While the match represents a drop in class for the English club, there is no doubt they will have their guard up against a fit Gold Coast side who is looking to maintain an unbeaten record this pre-season.

"A lot of those Gold Coast guys have got things to prove and some of the boys have only been training for a week so it is a big test for us," Schwarzer added.

The home side could be excused for being star-struck on the night as they turn out against big-names like Danny Murphy and Andy Johnson, but Schwarzer says they could do a lot worse than look to Culina for inspiration.

"Culina has played at the highest level and he has played against far bigger clubs than Fulham but I think there will be a lot of guys who will be very excited to be playing against an English Premier League side," he said.

Tickets for the match can still be purchased for the match. Click here for more details.

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