Thursday, September 21, 2006
Kuszczak wants to replace his idol Van der Sar
Tomasz Kuszczak has revealed he grew up wanting to be just like his new Manchester United teammate Edwin van der Sar.

The move to Old Trafford realised his boyhood dream after Kuszczak grew up supporting United with posters of his idols on his wall in Wroclaw. He added: "My idol was always Peter Schmeichel - and Edwin van der Sar.

"It's unbelievable to be following them but slowly the emotion from having been transferred to Manchester United is falling away.

"Now I want to realise part two of my plan - to fight for a regular first- team place, because that's why I came here after all.

"I'm having a rivalry with Edwin van der Sar, a living legend, but that only motivates me further. If I was afraid of playing I wouldn't be at Manchester United."

Kuszczak has been stunned by how down to earth and friendly mega-stars are at United and the young keeper can feel himself improving with every passing day in their company.

He said: "I've only been here a little while but I feel like I'm at home.

"Everyone is nice and there are no stuck-up stars, you can talk to anyone. It's a great thing to play with such famous players at Manchester United. It motivates you to work harder and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to play at Old Trafford.

"I know that I've got a lot more work ahead of me and I've got to improve certain parts of my game. That's the best way to have success.

"Playing with such phenomenal players, I think I can go really far here. You raise your game just by being around them to match them.

"A lot of the players have a good shot but Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes really hit the ball with potent force. I'm made to work for every save in training.

"Afterwards I stay behind with Cristiano Ronaldo and we like to take each other on to see who can hit the crossbar the most times from 16 metres - but the other day I lost."

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