JULIAN SCHWARZER has big boots and big gloves to fill.
The 24-year-old’s dad won the Premier League with two different teams and is a national hero with more than 100 caps.
But while Mark Schwarzer racked up his appearances for Australia, his son has opted to play for the Philippines.
That is because – despite being born in Harrogate while Mark was at Middlesbrough in 1999 – Julian’s mum and Mark’s wife Paloma Garcia has Filipino heritage.
Paloma was born in the Philippines but migrated to Australia with her family.
Her dad was a footballer and her great-uncle shone for the Philippines national team in the 1960s.
And now his great-great-nephew Julian has opted to follow in his footsteps between the sticks for the Azkals, racking up three caps so far since his 2022 debut.
Incredibly, the rising star could also have chosen to represent Australia, England, Spain or Germany in international football.
Schwarzer Jr grew up in England and signed a scholarship at Fulham in 2016, three years after his old man left Craven Cottage for neighbours Chelsea.
The iconic 109-cap Aussie hero set various records including becoming the oldest Champions League debutant and Chelsea’s oldest player aged 41.
After racking up 150 Premier League clean sheets, Schwarzer still got a Premier League medal even though he did not get on the pitch for Chelsea in the 2014-15 season as Jose Mourinho’s side won the title.
The goalkeeper was then Schmeichel’s unused understudy, on the bench for 37 of the 38 matches, as Claudio Ranieri inspired the incredible 5,000-1 title win.
The miraculous success meant the ex-Boro stopper won the Premier League in two successive seasons for two different clubs.
He was the first player to achieve the feat – Eric Cantona landed the 1992 First Division with Leeds and then the inaugural Premier League at Manchester United – before N’Golo Kante followed suit a year later after swapping Leicester for Chelsea.Schwarzer Jr has senior caps for the Philippines[/caption]
But Schwarzer did so without making a single appearance in either campaign.
The veteran eventually retired after his Leicester release in 2016 aged 43 – but now his son is making a name for himself.
After one first-team call-up but no senior appearances for Fulham, Julian embarked on a journeyman career with Pipinsried, Harlow Town, Slough Town, Chipstead, Harrow Borough and Basingstoke Town.
He then returned to Fulham in 2020 as the Under-23 back-up goalkeeper – but after a short loan to Kingstonian, he was released again in 2022.
That prompted a dramatic relocation to the Philippines with Azkals Development Team.
Then in January 2023, Schwarzer Jr transferred to Malaysian outfit Kuching City.
Just six months later, though, he was on the move again, linking up with Arema in the Indonesian Liga 1 where he continues to impress.The legendary Australian racked up 109 senior international caps[/caption] Schwarzer was the back-up to Kasper Schmeichel when Leicester won the Premier League[/caption]