Langerak gets Socceroos chance
Mitch Langerak, back-up goalkeeper at Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, has been named in Australia's squad for the friendly against Germany on March 29.
The 22-year-old former Melbourne Victory goalkeeper will likely start on the bench for the Socceroos but the call-up still represents the latest step in what has been a meteoric rise from A-League bench-warmer to starting against Bayern Munich when Dortmund number one Roman Weidenfeller was injured in February.
This recognition for a strong performance in that 3-1 win from Australia's German coach Holger Osieck will further boost Langerak's rising stocks in Germany.
Osieck said: "Mitch impressed in a top game in Germany when they (Borussia Dortmund) played Bayern Munich and he was a candidate for this camp anyway. After this performance I thought why not give him the chance to smell the air with the Socceroos, to be together with Mark Schwarzer. Mark is a great teacher, I could see that in our (Asian Cup) tournament recently and he passes on his experience and I think it's a great opportunity for Mitch to work together with Mark so that is one aspect."
Another German-based youngster, Hertha Berlin striker Nikita Rukavytsya, is the only other member of the 17-man squad who was not a part of Australia's run to the Asian Cup final earlier this year.
Striker Scott McDonald and young midfielder Tommy Oar are the most notable absentees, while goalkeeper Adam Federici has lost his place as back-up keeper to Langerak. Nagoya striker Josh Kennedy is not included despite returning to fitness while veterans Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano are also still missing.
Matt McKay and Robbie Kruse are again the two domestic-based players included, Brisbane Roar captain McKay included two days after lifting the A-League championship trophy.
The match gives Australia a chance for redemption after Germany's 4-0 thrashing of the Socceroos at the World Cup in South Africa, the result which effectively killed Australia's chances of progressing past the group stage.
Osieck will also conduct a 22-man training camp for Europe-based players, primarily youngsters, who the coach has not had the chance to work with previously. Of these fringe contenders, Osieck will choose one to become the 18th man for the Germany game.
Socceroos squad: Tim Cahill, David Carney, Brett Emerton, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Harry Kewell, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak, Jon McKain, Matt McKay, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mark Schwarzer, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.
Training camp squad: Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Shrewsbury Town), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Adrian Madaschi (Portogruara), Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht), James Troisi (Kayserispor), Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht), Dean Bouzanis (Liverpool), Apostolos Giannou (Kavala), Chris Herd (Aston Villa), James Holland (Sparta Rotterdam), Shane Lowry (Sheffield United), Ryan McGowan (Partick Thistle), Aaron Mooy (St Mirren), Kearyn Baccus (Le Mans), Ante Drazina (Hertha Berlin), Corey Gamiero (Fulham), Bradden Inman (Newcastle), Josip Konyit (Dinamo Zagreb), George Lambadaridis (Club Brugge), Mathew Leckie (Borussia Monchengladbach), Massimo Luongo (Tottenham), Brent Mcgrath (Brondby)