Get to know… Ken Ilsø


As Danish forward, Ken Ilsø, became the latest addition to the Adelaide United squad, here is an overview of his career to date.

The 31-year-old joins the Reds for the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on a one-year contract and was most recently at Malaysian Premier League club Penang.

Ilsø, who can operate as an attacking midfielder, second striker or target man, will bring a wealth of experience to Marco Kurz’s squad.

The Dane began his career in the Netherlands with Eredivisie outfit SC Heerenveen and progressed through their youth team before completing his senior debut in 2006.

A lack of first-team football saw him briefly loaned to fellow Dutch side PEC Zwolle to no avail and returned to his native Denmark in search of regular playing time.   

He moved to Danish Superliga club SønderjyskE for the 2008/09 season and scored 9 goals in 28 league matches.

Ken Ilsø highlights

A year later he transferred to Danish side FC Midtjylland and he took his game to another level as it helped him springboard a move to 2. Bundesliga. He found the back-of-the-net 12 times in 44 games.

His exploits caught the eye of German second division club Fortuna Düsseldorf during the 2011 January Transfer Window and provided an immediate impact – bagging seven goals in 16 games after signing on loan.

Unsurprisingly, Fortuna decided to acquire his services on a permanent basis for a fee reportedly in the region of €300,000 at the end of the season.

Ilsø would prove to be a shrewd investment as he registered four goals and four assists in 26 games during the 2011/12 campaign as Fortuna finished third to earn a two-legged relegation play-off with top tier team Hertha Berlin.  

The then 25-year-old was influential over the two ties as he laid on two assists, as the North Rhine-Westphalia club secured a 4-3 aggregate win to gain promotion to the top-flight.

Ken Ilsø first interview

Ilsø’s first taste of Bundesliga experience occurred via a substitute appearance against Borussia Mönchengladbach before making his first start three weeks later where he would score in a 2-0 win over Greuther Fürth.

At the conclusion of the 2012/13 campaign and following Düsseldorf’s relegation, he stayed in the second tier, joining VfL Bochum and recorded two goals and as many assists in 16 appearances.

The Dane left the continent in 2014 eager for a fresh challenge and he signed with Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F. However, his stay was fleeting, though and remained in Asia linking up with Singapore outfit Home United in 2015. He enjoyed a prolific spell in front of goal, netting 36 goals in all competitions in two years.

And his high productivity continued when he transferred to Malaysian team Kedah. Ilsø finished the 2017 competition with a total of 25 goals in 33 games and following a short stint at Penang, he becomes the Reds’ third signing of the offseason – and links up with compatriot Michael Jakobsen.

Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2018 on Wednesday, 1 August at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST.