Australia goalkeeper Mitch Langerak insists he will not leave Borussia Dortmund on loan this season – even if it means jeopardising his FIFA 2014 World Cup prospects.
Likely to win his maiden cap against France at the Parc de Princes on Saturday morning (6am AEDT) in the absence of Mark Schwarzer, Langerak, 25, is coming off the back of two UEFA Champions League appearances already this season.
His confidence is soaring – and his determination to remain at the club he joined from Melbourne Victory three years ago is unwavering.
There have been a number of German sides keen to take him on loan, but Langerak – in unison with Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp – believes his long-term interests are best served by remaining with last season’s Champions League finalist and Bundesliga runner-up in the final eight months leading into Brazil 2014.
“I know a lot of people in Australia have been saying I need to go out on loan or even leave the club and do this and do that,” said Langerak.
“But I think leaving things the way they are is perfect for my career. I am seeing football at the highest level in Europe and that’s experience you can’t buy.
“I am involved and do get the chance to play and I am happy with the choices I’ve made.
“At the end of last season I spoke with the coach (Klopp) and asked what he expected of me and what his plans were. The topic of a possible loan came up and he said ‘no’ and that is good for me.
“I have a coach who believes in me – and that’s the most important thing.”
Langerak is so certain he has chosen the right path that he did not seek the counsel of Australia coach Holger Osieck, trusting instead that his instincts will pay off.
“I could have moved but that’s not what is best for me. Obviously my goal is to be involved with Australia from now on, that’s really important to me looking towards the future.
“I haven’t spoken to the boss (Osieck) about my decisions but whenever I come into camp he is always happy to talk and always positive and he knows everything that’s going on with me in Germany.”
Though tipped to start against Les Bleus ahead of fellow young gun Mat Ryan, who has been earning rave reviews with Club Brugge this season, Langerak added: “If I get the chance to play it will great. If it happens it will come at a good time because I’ve played a few games for Dortmund this season and I’ve done well.”
Having lived in the shadow of long-time No.1 Roman Weidenfeller since arriving at Dortmund, Langerak has made just eight senior appearances since his arrival – and admits to experiencing pre-game jitters whenever he steps out.
“At Victory I showed I could perform but coming to Germany in the first couple of years it was hard to get chances. But now I feel a part of things and the confidence is there,” he said.
“I have played in some big games now but the nerves are still there and I like that. I think as a player, I need that.”
Langerak said there is close harmony between Australia’s three competing keepers, explaining: “Mat's a good boy and I get on really well with Schwarz too. I never want to have problems or an unhealthy rivalry with other keepers I work with.
“That’s counterproductive. I always make an effort to get on as well as I can … we are members of the same team but only one can play. There’s no point in causing problems.”
Luke DeVere grabbed a late winner as Gyeongnam got its K-League campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory against Seongnam Chunma.