INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: ANDREW HJULSAGER
With his 11 assists and 3 goals, Andrew Hjulsager has been one of KVO's key players this season. He is also one of the favourites to win the Puis/Verbiest Trophy. But the Danish playmaker wants to crown this excellent season with a European ticket. "We have to go all the way for that.
Against Standard you were again decisive with an assist and a goal. Typical of your strong season, isn't it?
"I am indeed very decisive this season. That has mainly to do with the way we play. Last season we were more based on a good organisation and we lurked on the counter attack with the speed of Fashion. I had to come from too far away to be able to be decisive often. The pressing system we play now suits me like a glove. Against Standard, I gave Nick Bätzner a great assist, but he also kicks it in. My goal came at the right moment, because we closed the game. I actually wanted to kick earlier, but the ball bounced up so I had to hold back. Fortunately (laughs)."
Do you actually have 11 or 12 assists right now?
"Well, I'd say twelve, but the Pro League doesn't count my cross for Marko Kvasina against Cercle as an assist because the ball deflected off a defender for a moment. Absolutely absurd, of course it was an assist. So just write down twelve."
The group seemed to have lost it at the end of the regular season, but there was no sign of that against Standard.
"Those last few weeks were indeed a bit unfortunate. We kept getting behind, which didn't make it any easier. And the refereeing decisions were not in our favour, to say the least. We may have been a bit out of sorts mentally, but we solved that by training a bit calmer and building a team. Clearing our heads clearly helped. It was a pity that we missed out on Play-off 1, but now we are one hundred percent focused on winning Play-off 2. To reach European football with KVO would be nice. What's that 'thing' called again, the Conference League? Whatever, European is European.
But will you still be there if we play European?
"The club has in any case lifted the option so that my contract runs until 2022. I can see myself staying here for a while longer, yes. Much will also depend on what the plans of the club are. We still have time to talk about the future. My focus is now on the field. I want to enforce European football. For that we try to win against KV Mechelen on Sunday. After that we'll see."
Will we see you back in Europe next summer with Denmark? Against the 'Red Devils'?
"The European Championships you mean. That would be very nice, but I have not yet had contact with coach Hjulmand. Denmark has with Eriksen (Inter) and Hojberg (Tottenham) some serious quality on my position, but in the selection I would have my place, I think. When a lot of players were injured before the last international games, I wasn't there. We'll have to wait and see if I will be called up later on. In any case, I'm not worried about it, I focus on my games, that's all I can do.
Finally, what did you think of the tirade between your teammates Skulason and Hendry in the episode of the series 'Coastal Boys'?
"Brilliant right? Oh well, it's just part of football. Ari and Jack are both winners. Then you get something like that, but a few hours later it is already forgotten. Football is emotion, that's part of it."