Bettinelli proud to emulate Schwarzer


By Alex Marrow

Last Updated: 08/08/18 8:10am

Marcus Bettinelli won promotion with Fulham

Marcus Bettinelli won promotion with Fulham

Marcus Bettinelli never thought he would emulate his idol Mark Schwarzer, but the Fulham goalkeeper will play Premier League football in front of the stands he used to watch from as a child.

The 26-year-old helped Fulham win promotion from the Championship last season and is set to start in their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Bettinelli remembers watching games at Craven Cottage with his father and then with Fulham academy team-mates and believes it is one of the best places to play football.

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“When I was growing up and coming through the academy, Mark Schwarzer was No 1 at the time and he was the guy that I came here to watch and model myself off,” Bettinelli told Sky Sports News.

“He’s a great guy off the pitch as well, he used to give me a lot of advice.

Mark Schwarzer playing for Fulham at Craven Cottage Mark Schwarzer playing for Fulham at Craven Cottage

Mark Schwarzer playing for Fulham at Craven Cottage

“To come here to such a special stadium like this and sit in this stand, I don’t know how many there are like this, so traditional and old school, but it’s got a fantastic vibe to it.

“When I used to sit up there, I never used to think ‘one day I’ll play on this pitch in front of a full crowd’, I never thought I would.

Momentum is with Fulham

“I used to say it was my goal, but I never honestly thought I would.”

Bettinelli earned plaudits for his performances in Fulham’s promotion push during a 23-game unbeaten run.

He said they need to maintain the same mentality if Fulham are to ensure Premier League survival, something the goalkeeper is desperate to achieve.

Bettinelli in FA Cup action for Fulham Bettinelli in FA Cup action for Fulham

Bettinelli in FA Cup action for Fulham

“The side that we were and that we are now is a completely different picture to what we were last season and two seasons ago,” he said.

“There were a lot of question marks over us defensively and this ‘Fulham-ish’ tag that a lot of people carried with us. Last season we completely erased that.

Chambers joins Fulham on loan

“It’s just something now I don’t want to have for just one season and one season only, it’s something I want to keep.

“We can’t rest there as a club and say we’ve finished and we’ve done it because our journey is now only just starting.”

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