Ken Ilsø: I'm excited to be a Red


Ken Ilsø says he cannot wait to get started at Adelaide United after agreeing to join the Reds on a one-year deal.

The Danish forward becomes the Reds’ third signing this offseason and links up with compatriot Michael Jakobsen, who also recently arrived.

Ilsø spent more than nine years in Europe, plying his trade in his native Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany before embarking on a new challenge in Asia most prominently with Singapore’s Home United and Kedah from Malaysia.

He revealed how he always wanted to play in Australia and was hoping to bring success to Adelaide in an interesting chat.

Read the full transcript below:

Ken, welcome to Adelaide United! How does it feel to be part of this football club?

It feels amazing, I’m really excited, really excited about the upcoming season. And to work under Marco as well and first of all to see the lads of course and I’m just excited.

Your recent goalscoring record over the last few seasons is quite impressive, seeing you net more than 60 goals in around 80 appearances. How would you describe yourself as a footballer and what can our fans expect to see from you this season?

Originally, I was schooled as a number 10. I’ve been playing a lot as a striker as well, so I’ve got a lot of the abilities as a number 10 with intelligence, and footballing playing – seeing the game before it actually happens. I’m good with assists and I’ve also being playing a lot as a striker lately and kind of just know where the goal stands. What can the fans expect of me? They can expect a very direct player, who’s always looking to create opportunities and then always try and go for goal. 

Most recently you’ve played your football in Malaysia, but before that you had spells in Singapore, China, Germany, your native Denmark, and also the Netherlands. What has brought you to Australia and the A-League?

That’s a good question. I’ve always wanted to play in Australia somehow, at some point in my career. Somehow when I went to Asia, China I came this way over. In Asia the last four years I’ve got a lot of Aussie mates and I’ve been trying at least the last two years to try and follow up to see if it what possible and then Marco came here and did a very good job last year and now I got the chance and I’m not going to let that chance run.

Obviously with the World Cup currently on and Australia and Denmark being drawn in the same group, I can imagine you are familiar with some of Australia’s football, but are there any specific traits that you know Australian footballers have and what are you expecting of the A-League?

Well I know two of my good mates, Iain Ramsay, who used to play here, right. And another guy called Zac Anderson so we had quite an in-fight before the game – Denmark vs Australia – which is completely normal. What do I know about Australian football, I know that Australian football has been struggling when it comes to the national team a little bit the last couple of years and more since the last generation with Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell just to mention some. But it’s slowly getting there again. I haven’t really been watching a lot of the national team before I actually saw some pre-game stuff before they met Denmark. 

You’re our third Danish footballer and will link-up with compatriot, Michael Jakobsen, this season. Do you know Michael and did you speak to him before agreeing to join the Club?

I’ve actually never actually played with him. I know him from the youth days because we used to hang around on the same national teams, under-19, under-21 – so we had some training sessions together but actually playing in the same team we haven’t never. So I’m looking forward to playing against him as well. I know he has a very good left leg and he’s very good at playing the ball forward and I’m going to need those balls as well.

What about our Head Coach, Marco Kurz? Do you know Marco or know of him from your time in Germany and what brand of football are you expecting to play this season?

I’ve spoken to him of course several times. Marco I know from his time in Germany when he was at Ingolstadt he was there not so long, but I know through my agent that time that he was interested in getting me to Ingolstadt because he knew me from Fortuna Düsseldorf. But I actually never did speak with him before now coming here. He gave me a call or I gave him a call I don’t really remember. But now I’m here and looking forward to working under him.

Just finally, what message to you have for our fans ahead of the new season?

I want to make it better than I know you guys did the last season. I want to make it even better. I want to reach a high amount of goals even though I’m going to play as a number 10 and I’m going to create a lot of chances for my teammates. The team, team spirit (is important) and getting in a better position than last year and scoring a lot of goals.

Thank you, Ken. And, once again, welcome to Adelaide United.

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.