Coach Loew calls up keeper Enke

September 28, 2006

BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Loew will select Hanover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke as the latest back-up to first choice Jens Lehman following the retirement of Oliver Kahn.

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff on Thursday confirmed media reports that Enke will be named by Loew on Friday ahead of a friendly against Georgia on Oct. 7 in Rostock.

Enke, 29, will join the squad alongside VfB Stuttgart goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand in the battle for the number two spot behind Lehmann of Arsenal.

He was picked over Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen's Tim Wiese but Bierhoff said Weidenfeller might also be given a chance in the near term.

Kahn announced his international retirement at the end of the World Cup having been replaced as first choice by Lehmann under former coach Juergen Klinsmann.

Bierhoff also said that Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker, who had been sidelined for the last 12 weeks after surgery on his heel, would not be included in Loew's squad for the Georgia game of the Euro 2008 qualifier against Slovakia on Oct. 11 in Bratislava.

Even though Mertesacker, a stalwart centre back for Germany in their run to third place, played a full 90 minutes for the first time on Wednesday for Bremen against Barcelona, Werder coach Thomas Schaaf asked he be given more time to recuperate.