SCHWARZER: UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

As we prepare for the final leg of our Asia tour, Mark Schwarzer believes playing in Jakarta will be a highlight of the trip for the squad.

With a sell-out crowd expected at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Schwarzer expects an intense support for the Blues, whose number of 'Likes' on Facebook is higher than anywhere else in the world, including England.

'You can see the reaction of the people all around Asia, and in Indonesia I think we'll see an even bigger reaction, they're absolutely mad about football and it's going to be a unique experience,' the goalkeeper said.

'It's a long time since I've been to Indonesia, and it was the same with Malaysia, but I have travelled a lot around Asia in international football and the climates and conditions are very similar here. It pushes you to the limit, they're very extreme conditions compared to what we are used to playing in in the Premier League.'

Pre-season as a Chelsea player began late for the Australian, and he joined up with the squad a few days after the rest of the players arrived in Bangkok. Since then, he has settled in well on and off the pitch.

'It's been great, I've really enjoyed it,' he reported. 'It's been a great experience so far and I think I've fitted in really well. The boys have been very accommodating and I'm happy to hit the ground running.

'I enjoyed my first game in Malaysia, it was nice to get back out playing again. My last game was not too long ago anyway, on June 18 in an international so this wasn't too far down the line, but it's nice to have had a week to 10 days of training beforehand.'

That training has been under the guidance of Christophe Lollichon, whose routines differ from what Schwarzer has known until now.

'Some of the training methods are completely new and different to things I've seen before, it takes a bit of time to adjust but I whatever exercise you can get, the bottom line is you have to keep the ball out of the back of the net,' he said. 'It's important to enjoy yourself at training. It's a very long season if you don't.'

Away from the training pitch and inside the dining room, Schwarzer also had to complete the obligatory initiation song in Malaysia, a test he believes he passed.

'I sang a pretty easy one, a typical Aussie song in "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport",' he smiled. 'The foreign guys had absolutely no clue what I was singing but I kept on singing and I managed not to get any handkerchiefs thrown at me so I think I did quite well.'

With that episode now out of the way, Schwarzer can look forward to enjoying the couple of days of the tour.