Federici wants to be Wizard of OzBy Nick Ive
May 30, 2008
Adam Federici has set his sights on dislodging Marcus Hahnemann at Madejski Stadium – but only after he has shown the Australian nation he is a serious contender to Mark Schwarzer’s No. 1 shirt.
The Royals keeper is currently back home in Oz preparing for the Olympics in Beijing, China later this summer.
Schwarzer, who has just joined Fulham, has established himself as the top keeper in Australia, but Federici may well get the chance to show what he can do during the Games.
The Royals keeper has been given permission to play for the Aussies even though he will miss part of the club’s pre-season campaign when they tour Sweden.
Reading boss Steve Coppell believes Federici will benefit more from playing competitive games for his country than alternating with Marcus Hahnemann for friendly matches.
The role of understudy is one Federici is well used to and he admitted: “I only managed four or five games this season. It’s a supportive role for me which I’ve had to master.
“You’ve got to really prepare each week and train as if you’re playing on the Saturday, otherwise the day you relax you’ll find yourself five minutes before kick-off and playing away at Manchester United.
“I could go three or four months without playing in the first team and then have to come in and play at that level. But in a few of the games I got man of the match which I was really pleased with.
“That’s the sort of role hopefully I can get with the Socceroos, that supportive position. It’s a great opportunity for me as it is for the other boys, and obviously I’m the youngest.
“Hopefully we go through and I get the chance to show Australian fans that I’m looking to take Mark’s spot eventually, and perform well.”
Federici is still coming to terms with Reading’s relegation from the Premier League.
He admitted: “It’s indescribable, the feeling of getting relegated, especially with a four-hour coach trip afterwards to get home,” he said.
“It’s been one of the worst seasons I’ve ever known, at least from a club point of view.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet, though I’m sure it will at the start of next season and you look at the fixture list to see you’re not playing Manchester United but Blackpool or someone like that.”
* Reading begin their pre-season campaign at the start of July, but Federici will fly out to China on July 23, which is likely to be when Royals are on tour in Sweden.
Australia’s Olympic Games campaign starts against Serbia on August 7.
They then play Argentina on August 10 before completing their group games against Ivory Coast on August 13.
Federici could miss Royals’ first four league games next season, depending on how far the Socceroos progress at the Olympics.
The Championship campaign kicks off on Saturday August 9.