Ken Ilso may have just signed for Malaysian Super League outfit Kedah FA, but the Danish striker believes that his new team are destined for big things in 2017, especially under the tutelage of head coach Tan Cheng Hoe.
The former Fortuna Dusseldorf frontman has been in contact with Tan since July 2016, when he was still with Home United in the S.League. As a result, Ken instantly opened discussions with Kedah, as soon as his Singaporean stint came to an end.
“Tan is a really good coach. We have been talking for quite some time now, since July 2016. So I know the brand of football he wants to play,” Ken told FourthOfficial.com
“I like the way he strives for what he believes in – the pressing and offensive mindset, wanting to keep the ball and creating plenty of chances. These are not things he merely says. Our training sessions are based on it as well,” he added.
The 30 year-old striker is a bit of a journeyman, having played in multiple countries across the globe, including Germany, China and more recently in Singapore. His stint across the causeway proved to be a successful one, as he bagged 30 goals in 41 appearances for The Protectors.
As far as adapting to a new country is concerned, Ken is a seasoned expert. But he was quick to thank everyone in Kedah FA, as well as a certain player by the name of Liridon Krasniqi, for assisting him in settling down in Alor Setar.
“People are very friendly here, and everyone has been trying to make me feel good. Our fans have been brilliant so far. At the same time, Liridon speaks German, so he’s been really helpful as well.”
That said, Ken is aware that there’s very little margin for him to take things for granted in Kedah, especially after their strong 2016 campaign, which culminated in them winning the Malaysia Cup. In fact, he is aware of Kedah’s successful past, especially their double-treble winning feats in 2007 and 2008.
“I’m aware that Kedah had an excellent 2016 season. But this is a club that’s clearly determined to do better. They want to improve again this year. And I also know that Kedah have an exceptional history as well.
“The fan base is extremely passionate and I’m looking forward to experience their support. I want to score goals for Kedah – that’s my main goal,” Ken added.