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Nov 5, 2013

Langerak, Ryan to fill Schwarzer's shoes

Borussia Dortmund's Mitch Langerak and Club Brugge's Mat Ryan are the first in line to benefit from Mark Schwarzer's shock decision to retire from international football.

Langerak and Ryan are the only goalkeepers named in Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos squad to play Costa Rica in Sydney on November 19 and the new coach said on Wednesday they would have the first opportunity to fill the considerable void Schwarzer leaves.

After a 20-year international career, Schwarzer's final outing for the Socceroos was in the 6-0 drubbing by Brazil in September, while Langerak was handed his debut in the next game against France last month - another 6-0 demolition though he was far from disgraced.

The 25-year-old then kept a clean sheet in the morale boosting 3-0 win over Canada, the Socceroos first game after Holger Osieck was sacked as coach.

Langerak made his Champions League debut against Napoli last month but remains his club's No.2 keeper while 21-year-old Ryan, who has three international caps to his name, has the benefit of starting regularly for his Belgian club this season.

"Both Mitch Langerak and Matty Ryan are exceptional young goalkeepers," Postecoglou said.

"Matty has had a great start to his European career with Club Brugge playing regularly and Mitch when he has been given the chance he has done fantastically well for his club.

"I'm keen to get them both in (to camp). The goalkeeping position is obviously a very important position and that is highlighted by how important Mark Schwarzer has been for the international team during his tenure.

"It's a great opportunity for them (Langerak and Ryan), not just for them, but they get first crack.

"Eugene Galekovic is another young keeper I rate very highly.

"(But) at the moment the opportunity is there for them and opportunity is what this is all about."

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