Interview: Everton's Marcus Hahnemann

Marcus Hahnemann
© PA Photos
Current Everton goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann talks to Sports Mole about all things football and music.

Marcus Hahnemann is an American goalkeeper that can boast over 350 appearances in England's top two divisions.

Away from the pitch, one of the 39-year-old's favourite pastimes is listening to heavy metal music. Next week, Marcus will be given the opportunity to record a heavy metal track of his own courtesy of Jägermeister's 'Ice Cold' Studio Session.

Sports Mole caught up with the current Everton goalie to talk all things football and music.

What attracted you to take part in recording a heavy metal track?
"The idea was put to me and I straight away thought it would be great. I have never been into a studio and thought it would be fun to experience what it is like. I'm super excited about the whole thing but it is also pretty scary."

Where does your love of heavy metal come from?
"It is all about getting [geared] up for a game. The heavier the better as far as I'm concerned. It really gets me going for games. When my teammates heard some of the music that I was playing through my headphones, like Slipknot, they were like 'Oh my gosh!' I gradually got into Slipknot and ended up loving it. I've seen them live and they were incredible."

Moving on the football, you moved to British shores in 1999 from Colorado Rapids. What attracted you to the British game?
"There is a channel in the States called Fox Soccer that show almost every [Premier League] match live. It is the most exciting league in the world and I wanted to be part of it. The Premier League has a high intensity and it is end-to-end. It is also unpredictable and exciting. Spanish football is painful to watch because there are too many fouls given. I end up turning it off after five minutes."

Would it be fair to say that the most successful part of your career came during an eight-year stint with Reading?
"Yeah, for sure. I played almost 300 games and made tons of saves in my time there. I played in almost every minute during the year that we got to promoted to Premier League with a record of 106 points - those are remarkable statistics. The 106 is a record that will be difficult to beat because the Championship is a difficult league. You have to play bad and win. We surprised a few teams in the Premier League and despite not beating any of the top teams, we still finished seventh in our first year."

The summer of 2009 brought a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers. How did you find your time at Molineux?
"It was great. I came to the club to help out Wayne Hennessey, who was a great young keeper. After a couple of dodgy results I was in the team to take Wayne out of the firing line. The results went our way after that. I had an awesome time there but Wayne was always going to get back in."

Fast-forward to the present day and you find yourself at Everton. However, you're yet to make an appearance. Has that been frustrating?
"Yes. I knew I was going to come in to a similar situation as at Wolves. I was always going to be back-up to Tim Howard. I knew Tim really well as well as Chris Woods, Phil Jagielka and Louis Saha so it was an easy choice to join Everton. It is a massive club. Of course I want to be playing more or even be on the bench more but that's just the way it is right now. I've been around the game long enough and I'm mentally strong enough to deal with it. Working your butt off in training is the hardest bit."

You mentioned Tim Howard there. Yourself and Howard, as well as other fellow American goalkeepers Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan, have made positive impacts in the Premier League. Why do you think that is?
"Not forgetting Kasey Keller, who retired recently. I'm not 100% sure. A lot of people actually ask that question. It might be because we play different sports in America that require hand-eye coordination, such as American Football and basketball. It has always been cool to be a goalie in the States, whereas here it isn't as cool. We like to be different."

Another American, Landon Donovan, recently joined Everton on loan. Do you hope that he is the first of many arrivals this month?
"Hopefully. We always want more players. We've had a lot of injuries and we've had to call back a couple of young players that have been on loan. The injuries are to key players as well which means we need to strengthen. You know what you are going to get from Landon. He's got speed and can go either inside or outside his opponent. He will only get fitter and stronger."

What did you make of Tim Howard's goal against Bolton Wanderers recently? Have you ever scored? Or has it happened to you?
"No to the first one and more importantly no to the second one, thank God! Tim looked embarrassed but it is a bit funny. He didn't celebrate it but I don't know what I would have done. I went up for a corner against Norwich while I was at Reading and had a header cleared off the line. I would have celebrated for 15 minutes had that gone in!"

As you're based on Merseyside, what have you made to the recent racism issues going on with Luis Suarez?
"I wouldn't have said that it was a problem but three things have happened in recent months. I didn't think there was a problem but I don't know. It is a lot better than ten years ago, I can tell you that."

What do you make of the appointment of Mark Hughes as Queens Park Rangers manager? Can he keep them up?
"Mark Hughes did a great job at Fulham. They finished higher than anybody expected them to so I don't know why he won't do the same at Queens Park Rangers. I don't know Mark Hughes personally but I'm sure he'll do a good job."

What does the future hold for you?
"I want to play for as long as I can. My contract [with Everton] is up in two weeks. I want to stay at Everton until the end of the year and I think they want me to, so it is only a paperwork issue. I turn 40 in the summer and I've had the best career I could have dreamed of. I've been here 13 years and if I can stay longer then I would love to. My family love it here. We'll looked at it in the off-season and make a decision then."

Marcus will be recording a track with Malefice at London's Strongroom Studio on January 17.

Marcus Hahnemann
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