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Kahn understudy Rensing relishing big chance

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Kahn understudy Rensing relishing big chance

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:30 pm


The last few weeks have witnessed a flurry of goalkeeping changes up and down the Bundesliga. Manuel Neuer has replaced veteran Frank Rost at Schalke 04, Christian Wetklo has taken over from Mainz stalwart Dimo Wache, and official Hamburg number one Sascha Kirschstein is currently sharing his job with Stefan Wächter.

Rotation in goal is also the order of the day at Bayern, for one particular match at least, as Oliver Kahn makes way for understudy Michael Rensing in Wednesday evening's DFB German Cup Round of 16 trip to Alemannia Aachen. "Another first team appearance is a great chance for me," the 22-year-old told <b></b> on Monday.

<b>Coach has complete faith</b>

The idea for the switch originated with Kahn himself in the course of a conversation with coach Felix Magath. "Michael Rensing is Oliver Kahn's designated successor in goal for us, so I believe he needs match practice when there's something at stake. I have complete faith in him," the boss commented.

Magath's confidence is understandable, as Bayern are undefeated in all 16 matches Rensing has contested with the senior side. "It's a reassuring piece of news," remarked Philipp Lahm, a team-mate of Rensing's in the club's youth section and fellow German U-19 championship winner. The left-back has no doubt the number two shot-stopper has the ability to step into Kahn's giant shoes: "We all know he's a great goalkeeper."

<b>Never overawed</b>

Rensing has for the most part been parading his talents in Bayern's third division reserves, where the former Germany U-21 international has amassed match practice when not on duty with the seniors. "Now I'm no longer eligible for the U-21s, it's important for me to spend time playing for the professional teams and gaining experience," Michael commented. "The game in Aachen will be another step forward."

The youngster last started for the first team in the first round of the Cup back in September as Kahn was serving a one-match ban. Bayern won through in the intimidating surroundings of St Pauli's infamous Millerntor stadium that night, but Alemannia's compact Tivoli ground will serve up no less of a hostile reception. "Playing there will be very special," the keeper declared undeterred.

<b>Similarities to Kahn</b>

Michael believes he will be motivated by the boisterous partisanship of the 21,000 crowd in Aachen. "I'll be even more fired up. The prospect makes me look forward to the game even more," he insisted in a statement which could easily have emanated direct from Kahn's lips.

The club captain stood between the sticks in February 2004 for Munich's most recent visit to the Tivoli, only for then second division Aachen to inflict Bayern's last defeat in the German Cup. "We have a score to settle with them, and settle it we will," the youngster commented. "We're aiming to be in the draw for the next round and go on to retain the trophy, so obviously we have to go out there and win."
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