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Starke thrilled with maiden league outing

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Starke thrilled with maiden league outing

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:40 pm

"It's the kind of game you just have to win," Mario Gomez tersely summed up after Bayern grafted their way to victory away to Hoffenheim, and the majority of his team-mates will have agreed with him. For keeper Tom Starke, the contest in front of a 30,150 sell-out crowd at Rhein-Neckar-Arena meant considerably more than just another three points.

The Bayern keeper ran out of the tunnel for the warm-up a half hour before kick-off to be greeted by banners and placards saluting his name. The Hoffenheim fans warmly welcomed the 31-year-old back to the ground he called home for two seasons until switching to Munich last summer. Tom made 58 Bundesliga appearances for TSG - and in a delicious twist of fate, his first for Bayern was on his former stamping ground.

"It was definitely a bit special," a visibly emotional Starke said after the match, "on the one hand, I played for Bayern. That's a big deal, another dimension altogether. And it was against my former club, where I had two great years, which makes it even better. I was genuinely surprised when I learnt I was playing, which made me even more thrilled."

Boss Jupp Heynckes had indicated as early as last Thursday that the backup keeper would be making his Bundesliga debut for FCB on the Sunday. Tom kept goal for the 4-0 cup victory over Kaiserslautern, but had only otherwise appeared in friendlies. "His attitude is magnificent. He supports Manuel Neuer and he's a good goalkeeper, as he showed again today. He deserved it," Heynckes explained.

Tips from Neuer

Starke himself had entertained hopes of featuring in this particular fixture for quite some time, he revealed afterwards: "I had my eye on it soon after making the switch. If I was to get a game, I wanted it to be away to Hoffenheim, so it's terrific that it's worked out. Many thanks to Jupp Heynckes for giving me the chance." Tom also expressed gratitude to Neuer: "He supported me totally and gave me advice as to how the back four like to play."

It was obviously good advice, as FCB kept a clean sheet in the league for the 17th time this season. Starke was not tested to the extreme by his former team-mates, who mustered a total of three shots on target during the match. Starke comfortably kept all of them out. "It's nice I was able to help," he said modestly.

"Tom did a couple of things very well and that was important for us. He's certainly deserved it. He's great in training and we all have huge faith in him," commented David Alaba. The keeper is certain to resume his backup duties when Fortuna Düsseldorf come to Munich next Saturday, but Starke insisted he was "very happy. We're running up the points and I'm making my contribution, albeit a small one. But it's still a contribution. I'll go back to the subs' bench with no complaints."
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Re: Starke thrilled with maiden league outing

Postby MoFattal » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:22 pm

Lovely man. Another great signing for us this season.
Kovac OUT!!!
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