Van der Sar inspires Schwarzer

by AAP on May 08, 2011

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Mark Schwarzer says the form of veteran Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is serving as an inspiration ahead of the Australian stopper's 40th birthday next year.

Schwarzer, who will enter his fifth decade in 17 months' time, said he was considering playing on until the end of the 2012-13 English Premier League season with Fulham.

The most capped Socceroo in history said the sight of van der Sar, who is two years older than him, still manning the goals for the high-flying United boosted his confidence to carry on.

The Dutchman van der Sar is set to retire at the end of this season but Schwarzer has no such intentions just yet.

"I'm 38 now so it's potentially my last port of call (in terms of clubs) but I'll continue as long as I can and there's an option for another year," Schwarzer told the British press.

"Van der Sar is a great example to follow and someone I admire a lot.

"To see someone of his age still playing at that level inspires me and at the moment I feel as fit as ever, if not better."

With Arsenal's interest in him having cooled off, Schwarzer is set to play out his days at Craven Cottage.

Fulham hovered just above the drop zone a month ago but have finished the season off strongly to comfortably secure safety before Monday night's home match against Liverpool.

Schwarzer, who has highly-rated Englishman David Stockdale as his understudy at Fulham, said England had a problem producing goalkeepers from grass-roots level.

"Keepers are predominantly foreign because they're better than what is being produced here," he said.

"Do you look at ground level and say what's going wrong? Why aren't goalkeepers coming through the ranks? It's a big problem in England and it has been for a while."