Ben Halloran: I’m targeting silverware
Ben Halloran admitted he is delighted to be joining Adelaide United after signing a two-year contract with the Club.
The Australian winger becomes the Reds’ sixth new addition of the offseason, bolstering the squad ahead of the upcoming season.
Halloran, 26, has played the past five years of his career abroad, predominantly in Germany, while collecting six caps for the Socceroos.
He revealed his desire to win trophies with United, in addition to discussing how his experience overseas has improved him as a footballer.
Read the full transcript below:
Ben, welcome to Adelaide United. How does it feel to be back in the A-League and playing for the Reds?
It feels great, I haven’t met the lads or the coach or seen the training pitch yet so I’m just keen to kick things off.
You’ve been away for about five years now, but did you keep an eye on the A-League during your time abroad? Do you feel the league has progressed in your time overseas?
I’ve got a fair few mates that I’m still close with in the league and from what I can gather the league has definitely grown and progressed in the last few years. You see lots of high calibre players with plenty of pedigree coming out and playing in the league. It’s very competitive, you see different teams being successful each year which is always good for the league. And when I speak to different players they assure me the league has definitely grown.
What drew you to sign for United for the next two seasons and did you speak to any of your new teammates before signing for the Club?
Not too many. I spoke to a handful of players I mentioned to my agent a few clubs that I’d like to play for – one of them was Adelaide United. It’s a good club with a great history, they’ve won a couple of titles and have a good supporter base as well and Adelaide’s a beautiful city to live so I think it really just ticked all of the boxes for me.
You made your move overseas to Fortuna Düsseldorf when you were quite young, not to mention your most recent time spent in Japan. Talk to us about the experience of playing abroad and how you return to the A-League a more well-rounded footballer?
I think it was just before my 21st birthday I moved to Düsseldorf. It was quite a whirlwind it happened all very quickly. But it was an unforgettable experience I would call Germany my second home now. I was there for four-and-a-half years made lots of friends and family there and have a German girlfriend now that has come out with me to Adelaide. And just the footballing culture over there is I have to say unparalleled. The passion, the cut-throat kind of nature of it all, it was amazing to be a part of it for so long.
Playing in Japan was also very interesting. I was only there for six months but it was great to work there and experience first-hand the Japanese culture. It’s a very unique culture, it’s very rich and definitely enjoyed it. And coming back to Australia I’d have to say I’d be more well-rounded footballer I mean playing in Germany, playing in Japan they’re both quite high levels. But I’m just keen to be back and from and I think what I’ve learned the Aussie camaraderie and mateship they’ve within an Aussie team is very unique and I’m looking forward to being a part of that again.
I imagine one of the highlights of your career to date would be representing your country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Can you describe what it was like to not only put on the green and gold, but to also play on the biggest stage in world football?
It was quite surreal to be honest. It happened very quickly like most things to be honest. I think only looking back on it now, maybe in retrospect do I kind of realise the significance and how massive it was to be playing against players like Alexis Sanchez and Robin van Persie and the like. And obviously putting on the green and gold is a childhood dream, always watching the Socceroos growing up is what I always wanted to do. So I’m definitely proud and grateful that I was able to do that.
What are you hoping to achieve here at Adelaide and does the chance to win some early-season silverware in the FFA Cup excite you heading into the domestic A-League season?
My career to date I’m yet to win any silverware so definitely have ambitions of coming here to win something and to win the FFA Cup would be great. Obviously want to be as successful as I can in the league and that would mean winning the Championship. I don’t want to speak too early, I’ve only been here a few days but that’s obviously I presume the goal of the Club to be as successful as possible.
What about Marco? Did you know of him from your time in Germany and what are you expecting from his managerial style?
I don’t know too much about him he actually had a spell at Fortuna Düsseldorf shortly after I left and from what I heard from some of the guys in the team he’s a typical German. He’s got the boys working very hard which can only be good for the team. Not entirely sure what his managerial style, but I’m looking forward to working with him. It’s nice to have that German connection considering I played over there for a while so looking forward to it.
I suppose a big question on the minds of many Reds fans is where exactly will you be playing for us this season because you’re quite a versatile footballer, aren’t you? Do you have a specific position you’ll be looking to lock-down or is it a matter of whatever is best for the team?
I think I’ll have to wait and see and see what the formation is that Marco wants to play with. Normally I play as a winger but kind of anywhere in an attacking position I’m pretty happy to play.
Well, on behalf of everyone at Adelaide United, Ben, welcome to the Reds and best of luck for the upcoming season!
Adelaide United face Lions FC in the Round of 16 of the FFA Cup 2018 on Wednesday, 29 August at Perry Park. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST.