Ken Ilso wants to exit Kedah with Malaysia Cup final glory over JDT
Former Bundesliga striker Ken Ilso wants to part ways with Kedah by helping them win the Malaysia Cup when he leads the line against Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) at Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
The ex-Denmark U21 forward announced his departure last month, along with Australian defender Zac Anderson, immediately after Kedah booked a semifinal berth with a 3-2 win against Selangor.
It came as a shock to the club, but the 30-year-old had already made up his mind.
"Sometimes in football, it's difficult because you don't know what's going to happen next year. For me as a person, I don't like to wait all the time," Ilso told ESPN FC.
"So if I don't hear something, then I want to choose my own path right away. The management had said they wanted me to stay, and will put out an offer, but I never got anything yet.
"But you always want to say goodbye in the best possible way. You can never say never in football, but it looks like I will be going somewhere, and I want to give this trophy to the club."
The defending champions will have no time to time to mull over Ilso's impending exit.
Ilso has scored 25 goals in all competitions in 2017, so coach Nidzam Adzha will need him to find a way past the JDT backline.
Kedah will be slight favourites, having already featured in three finals in the last year.
After winning the 2016 Malaysia Cup last December, the Red Eagles went on to bag the Charity Shield and FA Cup this year.
And they achieved it with a sizzling brand of attacking play.
"It has been an amazing year, we have played some beautiful football along the way. I also had to change my style, especially with my runs because of Kedah's possession football," Ilso said.
"It worked out great, but the season is not over. The fans have been with us throughout the season, and I saw how they were lining up to get tickets.
"I'm sorry for those who couldn't get tickets. For those who did, we want to give them the best show."
Kedah fans will see their team appearing in a third consecutive Malaysia Cup final. But they were left clamouring for tickets after only 10,000 were sold at their Darul Aman Stadium.
The remaining 20,000 were pre-booked by the club's respective fan clubs and officials.
The dire situation forced Football Association of Malaysia president TMJ to step in and allocate an additional 1,000 tickets to fans who had camped overnight outside their stadium.
Around 80,000 fans are expected at Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday night, entering the venue up to five hours before kick off.
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.