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Mark Schwarzer explains Chelsea move

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 10:45 | Comments

Mark Schwarzer has made a surprise move to Chelsea
Mark Schwarzer has made a surprise move to Chelsea

Mark Schwarzer is not planning to replace Petr Cech as Chelsea's number one goalkeeper - but the Australian will certainly push hard to be involved at his new club.

The 40-year-old - a free agent since leaving Fulham last month - has agreed a one-year contract to provide cover for Czech Republic international Cech at Stamford Bridge.

Cech has been a near ever-present for the Blues in his nine seasons in London, with Hilario and Ross Turnbull among the several deputies unable to displace him.

But Schwarzer still harbours ambitions of representing Australia at next year's World Cup and knows he will need game time to ensure his spot on the plane to Brazil.

The former Middlesbrough keeper told Sky Sports News: "Petr is number one - that goes without saying.

"For me what was important was that I could come to a club the size of Chelsea and really try and push myself as much as possible.

"If I can help Petr Cech improve as a goalkeeper and help myself improve as a goalkeeper then we can learn a lot from each other and I'd be delighted with that.

"There's a lot of games throughout the season and I know that if I'm pushing as hard as I can do then there'll be opportunities along the way."

Schwarzer revealed returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho had helped persuade him to join "one of the best clubs in the country" after speaking to the Portuguese about his future options.

He added: "I've spoken to the manager at Chelsea and it was very easy to make the decision that Chelsea was the right club for me.

"The size and ambition of the club and the opportunities at the club ticked all the boxes. It was an amazing opportunity to join a fantastic club.

"It's one of the best clubs in the country, if not one of the best clubs in the world, so it was very easy to make the decision after speaking to the manager."

Schwarzer moved to England in 1996 to join Bradford before making 367 league appearances in 11 years with Middlesbrough. He won the League Cup with Boro in 2003 and appeared in the 2006 UEFA Cup final against Sevilla.

During his time at Fulham he became the first overseas player to make over 500 Premier League appearances and reached another European final as the Cottagers lost out to Atletico Madrid in 2010.

The signing appears to have solved Chelsea's goalkeeping dilemma.

The Europa League winners were on the lookout for a support keeper to Cech following the release of Turnbull and Hilario at the end of the season and Premier League rivals Norwich this week confirmed rejecting two formal offers for England stopper John Ruddy.

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