Paul Scharner joins us on the phone from Austria for the latest episode of Latics Listen.
- Latics Rewind: Paul Scharner.
- Everyone's favourite Austrian drops in on the latest episode of our official podcast.
- Scharns on; his footballing home, his relationship with Latics and West Brom fans and life after playing.
Speaking for episode 11 of our official podcast, Latics Listen, Paul Scharner reminisced on his time at the DW Stadium, his connection to supporters at every club he played for and how he's now involved with helping young footballers in Austria to reach the highest level.
Listen to or read from Paul below.
"I've been back home in Austria for five years, I enjoy being back home, but I always miss Wigan and being in England.
"I finished my career after the FA Cup final because there was nothing else for me to win. I was 33-years-old, I'd won the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic as the ultimate underdog and it was the greatest day in my career.
"At the moment I'm working to help bring some young goalkeeping talents from Austria to the highest level.
"It's human nature to be motivated to do something else after finishing a career in something and for most footballers, retirement is more than just lying around on a beach or enjoying life."
With Latics facing one of Paul's other former clubs West Bromwich Albion this weekend, he reflected on how he used to build relationship with supporters no matter where he played.
"I still have a great connection with the fans at Wigan and West Brom.
"I always tried to connect with supporters no matter where I played. When I was in Norway for 15 months I was voted Player of the Year by the supporters. At every new club I always tried to get in contact with supporters as soon as I joined because you need supporters to get the best out of you."
Scharner's career began in his native Austria before moving to the Premier League via his 15-month stay in Norway. On how his move to Latics came about, he added:
"My dream was always to play in the Premier League. It was difficult for players to go directly from Austrian football to the Premier League, so I decided to move to Norway because the style of football was similar to England at the time.
"I played for Brann for 15 months and the club gave me great support. They invested in my career and I can't thank them enough for that. The club was very open about developing me as a player and getting me ready for a move to the Premier League.
"Joining Wigan Athletic was definitely the right move at the right time.
"The history of Wigan Athletic influenced my decision. My career was not easy up to that point, I was always told how I wouldn't make it and I'd never play in the Premier League.
"I felt that my personal situation matched the history of the club. Nobody believed Dave Whelan in 1995 when he said Wigan Athletic would play in the Premier League in 10 years. Many people laughed, but the club achieved that goal by 2005 and when I heard about the club I knew it was the right one for me."