'Proud to have been part of the FCB family'
Tying those laces one final time, pulling on his gloves one final time and then stepping out onto the pitch at the Allianz Arena for one final time. That is what Tom Starke will experience on Saturday against Freiburg ahead of hanging up his gloves at the end of the season. But there's no sense of sombreness.
"Honestly, it's a moment of pure excitement. I've been soaking everything up for the last few days and enjoying it," said the 36-year-old as he spoke grinning to fcbayern.com. "But I won't just be disappearing, you'll definitely see me around afterwards," said the 6ft 4in man mountain, who will still be part of the team's tour to Asia in July.
"Couldn't have wished for a better finish"
"I've had a wonderful time being a part of everything. Being able to end by career with one final appearance is amazing. I couldn't have wished for a better finish," continued Starke, who began his career as a youth player at Dynamo Dresden. After spells with Leverkusen, Hamburg, Paderborn, Duisburg and Hoffenheim, he found his home at FC Bayern in 2012.
"My five years have been like a film. I only had good times," recalled Bayern's no.22. "I was a part of Bayern for five years and definitely felt like one of the family. I think I played my part in the sporting success too as we won everything there is to win. I'm proud of that."
Excitement at the new job
A look at his CV backs this up. Five Bundesliga titles, three DFB Cup medals plus wins in the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. he will now be able to pass on the experience he has collected in all these competitions throughout his long career as he begins his new job in August.
Starke will take up the role of goalkeeping coach coordinator at the new FC Bayern Campus. A job he's really looking forward to: "I couldn't have imagined moving on to such a great job, so it's great that it's come. It's a really responsible role, which I'll need to be fully dedicated to. I've set some big targets."
However, there is still the final game of the season to worry about before then, but the big shot-stopper doesn't have any special wishes. "I just want to win and in the best case keep a clean sheet. Hopefully we can celebrate a win after the final whistle and then the Bundesliga title. We don't need a script for that, that'll be a sure-fire success."