The first team coaching staff at Bayern Munich witnessed a big change this week. The record Bundesliga champions parted ways with long-serving goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic. He was part of the first team for 11 seasons.
Courtesy of the sudden departure of Tapalovic, Bayern promoted former goalkeeper Tom Starke to the first team. He was taking the goalkeeping drills with Yann Sommer and Sven Ulreich before the game against FC Koln on Tuesday.
Starke has been at Bayern since 2012. He arrived at the club from Hoffenheim and largely served as a third-choice goalkeeper until 2018. After retiring from professional football, Starke has been part of the academy setup at Bayern. He has been working with the young goalkeepers in the academy.
Die Roten is expected to look for a new goalkeeping coach. Until the search is complete, Starke will be working with the first team. While talking with Sport1 this week, Starke insisted that he is open to working with the first team coach on a long-term basis.
"“I’ll be on the bench as goalkeeping coach for the next few games, we’ll see what happens after that. Up until now, my focus has been on the Campus, but if the first team needs me, then of course that’s a different story. In any case, I’m not ruling out staying with the first team as goalkeeping coach.”"
Going by the latest reports in Germany, Starke may go back to the academy sooner rather than later. Julian Nagelsmann is reportedly keen on reuniting with Hoffenheim’s Michael Rechner. The German head coach had worked with Rechner during their time at Hoffenheim.
Die Roten has approached Hoffenheim to find an agreement for the release of Rechner. Nagelsmann also told the media on Friday that Bayern is looking for a solution to the goalkeeping coach situation. Nevertheless, Starke will be on the bench for the game against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Nagelsmann has also made it clear that Tapalovic’s departure has nothing to do with Manuel Neuer. The German goalkeeper was reportedly very close to Tapalovic since the pair have been working together at Bayern for a long time. Reports in Germany had confirmed that there were differences between Tapalovic and Nagelsmann which eventually led to the former’s departure from the club.
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Bayern considers Nagelsmann as their long-term coach, so it is not surprising to see them making a change to the staff as per the German coach’s needs. The record Bundesliga champions will most likely find a way to reach an agreement with Hoffenheim for Rechner. Starke will be looking to help Sommer settle into the team as much as possible until the arrival of Rechner in Bavaria. The Swiss goalkeeper will be hoping to get his first clean sheet in Bavarian colours on Saturday.