Schwarzer raring to go for Chelsea pre-season

The 40-year-old is a familiar face in Asia following Australia's decision to move to the Asian Football Confederation in 2006 and he cannot wait to get started with his new club
New Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is raring to link up with his new colleagues after being given time to settle in.

The 40-year-old will meet up with the rest of the squad for the first time since his move from Fulham in Bangkok as the Blues compete in Asia as part of their pre-season preparations.

"Asia is such a big continent and they are absolutely mad about the Premier League," he told the club's official website. "For many of those players, coming up against Chelsea will be a dream come true and they'll be doing everything they possibly can to try and make a mark.

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"It will be a test for us but also a great opportunity for a lot of the local guys to get a chance against Chelsea.

"I'm looking forward to playing football again and getting stuck into pre-season at such a fantastic club. It's extremely exciting for me.

"Hard work is what you do as a footballer. You hit the ground running, it's all about hard work and you don't get something for nothing. That's why I'm still playing at this tender young age of mine. I enjoy pushing myself."

The Australia international will be a familiar face to the locals as the country switched football confederations from the Oceania to Asia in 2006, a move which Schwarzer feels has benefited all parties.

"The standard has improved and it's only natural when you've got some teams raising the bar, they have to follow or they will fall way behind the running," he observed. "In the past four years there has been a huge improvement."

"On the same token I like to think it has improved Australia. You have to improve as a national team, it's exactly the same as in a club, you have to move forward or you will be caught up or overtaken.

"We're continuously trying to improve and we're there or thereabouts. We made it to our third consecutive World Cup which we're very happy with and looking forward to next year."