Schwarzer endorses 'keeper Coe

January 13, 2011
By Liam FitzGibbon

Nathan Coe may be well short of a household name but Mark Schwarzer reckons he could well be the man to succeed him between the posts for the Socceroos.

Fulham goalkeeper Schwarzer has no plans to retire any time soon but the race to replace him as Australia's No.1 is on and remains wide open.

Coe was considered a bolter in Holger Osieck's Asian Cup squad but the 26-year-old has impressed Schwarzer, having finally secured regular first team football with Danish club Sonderjyske.

Coe has represented Australia at junior level but only earned his Socceroos debut in the pre-tournament friendly with UAE this month, taking his chance well in the second half of the scoreless draw.

"I think he's done really well," Schwarzer said.

"I think it's the first time since he's been in Europe that he has an opportunity to play regular football and I think that shows.

"He's a lot more confident now he's had the match practice under his belt and that makes a huge, huge difference."

Many see Adam Federici as Schwarzer's most likely successor, despite his absence from Qatar after he asked to be overlooked to focus on his club career with Reading.

Brad Jones, Schwarzer's former deputy at Middlesbrough and now with Liverpool is also in the frame, as is Borussia Dortmund's Mitch Langerak.

But Schwarzer is clearly a believer in Coe.

"I think he's got all the potential to do so without a doubt," Schwarzer said.

"There's a couple of guys out there that have all the aspects I think is ideal for a goalkeeper.

"With the right sort of attitude, the right mindset there's absolutely no reason why they can't go on and become very successful."

Schwarzer said the depth in Australia's goalkeeping ranks was promising but emphasised the importance of playing regularly.

He felt that might work against Jones, who faces a significant challenge to earn game time at Liverpool being No.1 Pepe Reina.

"I don't blame him for making the move, though the detriment is he's not playing regular football and I think that's something he'll have to look at sooner rather than later," Schwarzer said.