Muscat helps out Mitch

Having spent much of his life tormenting goalkeepers with his deadly penalties, Kevin Muscat has turned his hand to helping out the boys in the gloves and in particular young team-mate Mitch Langerak.

Having spent much of his life tormenting goalkeepers with his deadly penalties, Kevin Muscat has turned his hand to helping out the boys in the gloves and in particular young team-mate Mitch Langerak.

Langerak, 20, was thrust back into the spotlight on Saturday night against the Central Coast Mariners when the Victory's No.1 stopper Michael Theoklitos was sent off with 32 minutes remaining.

Langerak more than held his own in his time on the pitch and while the Mariners did manage to get one goal past him, the sense was that the big boy from Emerald in North Queensland had done a great job.

With Theoklitos suspended for the next two matches, Langerak gets another shot to prove his worth in home matches against Queensland and Perth in the next fortnight.

"To be honest, it was a bit unexpected. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and playing my first A-League game at home," he said.

"It gives you a bit of confidence to get a few games under your belt. I've only played three games, I've still got a long way to go. I've got a lot to learn. I will just go out there and give it all I've got on Sunday."

Stepping into a team commanded by defensive general Muscat is no easy task for a player in the infancy of his career. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of Langerak is his ability to unequivocally communicate his thoughts to the outfield players.

Muscat has taught Langerak to give as good as he gets when it comes to commanding the defence.

"That's part of your job as a goalkeeper. I'll get in more trouble if I'm quiet and just let the game go by. If I can see something. I've got the best view at the back there. I've got to let the boys know what I can see," he said.

"He helps me out a lot," he said of Muscat. "He tells me when I need to say things. If I can see something that he cant. It's my responsibility to let him know that."

Getting lessons in assertiveness from Muscat is somewhat akin to an education in golf from Tiger Woods. The benefits of his 12 months working with the experienced Victory line-up are fairly clear for the 20-year-old to see.

"Playing training games, and being around the boys, it makes a big difference," he said.

With confidence a big part of any goalkeeper's game, Langerak said that his first authoritative effort to snuff out a Mariners corner on Saturday gave him the belief to perform at his best.

"It's important for me. I like to go out there and get an early touch. And get myself involved as early as possible to feel a part of the game. Once I got that first touch, I was fine, I was into the groove of it."

Confidence, assertiveness, talent and fitness. You get the feeling this is the start of a long journey for Langerak.

Victory memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are currently available from the Victory Shop, 236 Swan Street, Richmond, by calling 1300 GO MVFC or online by clicking here.