Veteran Australia and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer believes he is in better shape now than he has been for years.
The 38-year-old Socceroos shot-stopper is still at the top of his game after a career spanning more than 20 years and remains a vital part of Australia’s campaign to lift the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.
“I feel now that I am doing things I have never done in my career before in the sense of training,” Schwarzer said. “I am definitely physically better now than I was five years ago.
“I work a lot harder now in the last 12 months, I have worked harder than I ever have in my whole career. I am enjoying it and loving it.”
Schwarzer embarked on an intense training program six months out from the World Cup to get himself in the best possible shape for the tournament.
“I was pretty close to that and then I realised I actually can get in better shape and I am in better shape,” Schwarzer said.
“I am not skinnier, I am more solid, but I have fined down … that’s always been the aim.”
Like many of his senior Australian teammates, Schwarzer has no intentions of calling time on his international career after the Asian Cup.
He still has another year-and-a-half on his contract with Fulham, with an option for another season beyond that.
“At this stage there is no decision as to whether or how I am going to stop playing,” Schwarzer said.
“I just want to continue to play as long as I am wanted and feel good enough to play at this level.”