Mark Schwazrer Feature: Part 2

Mark talks about his books, Brad Jones, Australia's young keepers and this week's game against Qatar

Part 2 of Mark Schwarzer's Exclusive feature interview. Click here to view Part 1

DC - Something aside from the football that you have become very passionate about is you-ve written a couple of books. Can you tell us how Megs Morrison is going? MS - It-s going really, really well. The first Megs and the Foetball Kids has done really well; the response we-ve had across Australia, even parts of England and now even Singapore; its been brilliant and very encouraging. The second book is out now and its called Megs - Scarves and Sombroes; we will really try and give it a push after the China game; go on a little bit of road trip and help promote the book. It-s exciting; it-s something that-s been a lot of fun along the road of the whole process of writing the stories and putting the books together.

DC - Is it a new career after football? MS - Possibly; who knows; I am not going to perceive that I am a writer by any means. Obviously I was heavily involved in putting the stories together and are based on four people-s experiences of growing up in Australia and I am one of them. It-s a very light-hearted sort of story, but a story that-s true to its word and it addresses situations that happen day-to-day, so people can really relate to it.

DC - Your move opens the door for Brad Jones at Middlesbrough. I take it you would like to see him get the number 1 position? SM - Of course; it-s an amazing opportunity for him now. My ending of an era at a club and moving to another one has opened the door for another Australian and at this stage, from what I am aware of, he together with the other goalkeeper have been told the job-s up for grabs between the two of them. There is no more talking; no more hiding and they have to go out on the pitch and do the business and perform week in, week out. It will a defining moment in both their careers as goal keepers.

DC - Do you see after 2010 a real battle developing amongst the young guys for the No.1 jersey? MS - There is a possibility, but they need to be playing first team football and that-s the big key. Danny (Vukovic) plays regularly for Central Coast Mariners in the A-League, but other than that the others are not playing weekly. That-s a big issue; if these guys really want to establish themselves as a) top class goalkeepers in a top class league and b) go on and represent their country, I think they have to play regular first team football.

DC - We are talking about 2010 World Cup, but we aren-t even there yet and have still got qualifiers left in this phase and more to come after that. It-s getting tight at the top, so there is no margin for error in these last two games? MS - No there isn-t; it was always going to be the case that once we joined Asia it was always going to be very, very difficult. But these group stages gives you the opportunity that if sometimes you don-t perform as well as you possibly like, or you-re a little unlucky and don-t get the result you need; you can have a slight hiccup along the way and still make amends and your not out of the running. We-ve still got it all in our own hands; we-ve got two very tough games coming up; one on Saturday in Qatar which is going to be very, very difficult because of the conditions again, but also because they are up for it; they-ve won their got results in their last three games and they will want to continue on and try and qualify for next stage as well. We have to make sure we do our job and we make sure we get through to the next stage first and foremost and then we can look beyond that. We can-t get too carried away with the end goal of 2010 and take it step-by-step and progress through the qualification stages.

DC - The other night you were pretty disappointed after the Iraq goal. Do you look back on it and go is there anything that I would have done differently? MS - We-ve watched it quite a few times on TV now and I still don-t believe it was a shot; I still believe it was a cross and these things happen. Sometimes you look a bit silly as a goalkeeper when it happens, but again it was some strike/cross that ended up going in the top corner and the way the ball is; the conditions are, it can happen and happen on any game day and unfortunately it happened in this particular game. You move on though and hopefully we can make amends for it in the next game.

DC - How are you finding the conditions? MS - They are very, very tough; it-s very, very hot and it-s hard work, but we are slowly acclimatizing and I think we finished the game quite well against Iraq and I think it-s shown in the week before that we have progressed and become stronmger. Hopefully this extra week before the next game we-ll continue to get stronger and adapt better to the conditions and hopefully really well against Qatar and get the result we need.