New Western United signing James Delianov grew up in Melbourne inspired by a Socceroo keeper who made his name at Victory.
“When I was younger, I’d watch Mitch Langerak play at Melbourne Victory. He was a big idol," Delianov told FTBL today. “I’d watch him with a very close eye.
“He had a fantastic season when he got his chance. It felt like he was someone I could be like."
Size wise, certainly, the two are similar. They are both big, and both made their A-League debuts as teenagers.
Langerak as an 18-year-old at Melbourne Victory, Delianov last month as a 19-year-old for Melbourne City.
“We both made our debuts at a similar age," said the teen. "I always idolised Mitch even after he signed for Borussia Dortmund.
“He’s my biggest idol, I’ve been inspired by him for sure."
While Langerak moved relatively early in his career - first to Germany and now to the J-League - Delianov's first move has gone across town to the west of Melbourne.
The new Western United player’s A-League debut came against Central Coast Mariners last month in the Melbourne City shirt.
He kept a clean sheet – which is never a bad way to start your professional career.
“I got a taste," he said. "It was AAMI Park where I always wanted to play.
“I felt ready. Mentally ready. I was relaxed. It was something you work your whole life for.
“And to be honest, I didn’t want the game to end.”
The Mariners did. They were smashed 5-0 by City.