Hendry Blank is a name that Borussia Dortmund fans are becoming more and more familair with as the season rolls on, and while the German U20 international has yet to make a senior team appaerance, this may be changing in the not so distant future. Blank been on Dortmund's bench for quite a few games now, and he was most recently suspected of making his debut in the Champions League against AC Milan after it was suspected Nico Schlotterbeck may be unable to play.
Blank's place on the Dortmund bench comes from more than Dortmund's lack of central defender depth. The player is rated quite highlly internally, but on a personal level Blank is in no rush, preferring to focus on his development so that one day he can make it as a full-fleged professional:
"I want to get to the very, very top. I want to play for the professionals at Borussia Dortmund at some point, and I'd also like to play in the Champions League. I think you should set yourself big goals, but you have to be realistic. I try to approach everything step by step. The 3rd division at BVB is the perfect step for me right now. Here I can get used to the speed, intensity and robustness of men's soccer. But I want to achieve the highest level possible."- Hendry Blank
Blank's progression at Dortmund has not been watched over by just his coaches, but also by Mats Hummels. Blank credits Hummels for giving him advice he takes very seriosly. Working with a player of Hummels' calibre has done wonders for his development, according to Blank:
"Mats Hummels already gave me valuable tips during my trip to the USA in the summer. You have to play every ball really cleanly when building up play. He often came to me and told me: 'You're doing well, but play the ball sharper, play it more in the forward line. It doesn't get any better than that. Mats really is a top player. When you get tips from someone like that, you're just grateful and of course you try to put them into practice straight away. But of course I look at all our central defenders and try to soak up as much as I can from them."
With Blank's current commitment to development and his receptiveness to learn from the senior players, Dortmund may be looking at an adademy success story. His trajectory through the club's ranks will be watched carefully in the hopes that he can become an eventual mainstay at the club for years to come. He has every chance of becoming a top player, especially if he learns from a master of the defensive part of the game such as Hummels himself.