Dortmund's Langerak aiming for lucky 11th
Australian goalkeeper Mitch Langerak is hoping to maintain his 10-match winning streak when Borussia Dortmund kick off their Bundesliga season on Saturday at Augsburg.
The 24-year-old reserve 'keeper will be making his 11th appearance for Borussia, last season's German league runners-up, when he steps in for Dortmund's suspended goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller at Bavaria's Augsburg.
Having made six league and four cup appearances for Dortmund since joining from A-League side Melbourne Victory in June 2010, Langerak has yet to lose in a Borussia shirt – something coach Jurgen Klopp is obviously happy about.
"You think you are getting a beach boy from Australia, but what you actually get is an unbelievable hard worker," said Klopp.
"Mitch is a very competitive character: goalkeeper is one position which we can react without problems when there are any injuries."
While Langerak will be between the posts in Augsburg, Dortmund will be missing new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after the Armenian midfielder twisted his ankle in pre-season, while Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos are expected to start on the bench.
Of his 10 wins, Langerak's stand-out performance was in the 2012 German Cup final when Weidenfeller was injured after half an hour and Langerak came on to help Borussia to a 5-2 win over Bayern Munich.
"For me, these are just statistics," the modest Queenslander said of his impressive record having also played in last Saturday's 3-0 win at fourth-division SV Wilhelmshaven in the first round of the German Cup.
"Whenever I play, I just want to produce a good performance."
Having won the German title with Dortmund in both the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, Langerak has faced top sides such as Bayern, Hamburg and Leverkusen on his rare Bundesliga appearances.
The Australian is under contract until 2016 and his employers are clearly grooming him to replace the 33-year-old Weidenfeller.
"Mitch is the competitive type: he's strong both on the line and in the air, plus he's brave," added Dortmund's director of sport Michael Zorc.