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Poulsen: ‘Austria Wien is the right step for me‘

Gladbach’s loan player Andreas Poulsen, who showed his talent against FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid when he was 16, explains why Austria Wien is the right club for the development of a player like him. The current Danish U21 team player talks about first impressions of the training and tells his story, which led him to “Favoriten”.

In the first test game (9-0 against Wiener Neustadt) the left-back was able to present himself to Austria Wien fans for the first time, his next chance will be against FAC on Saturday (2pm, Generali-Arena training grounds). The 20-year-old feels confirmed after just over a week:

‘It's very nice here, Austria Wien is a big club with a lot of tradition. We have a lot of players in our team with great technique, the move was definitely the right step for me. I am hoping for a lot of game time in the spring and for us to be able to win a lot of games because that's the best thing in football,’ says Poulsen.

Coach Christian Ilzer took time out of his schedule for the new signing to show him the Austria Wien game. The tall left-back feels comfortable in the training, ‘I had already spoken to Christian Ilzer before moving to Austria and had a very good impression - this impression was confirmed in the first few days of training, he talks a lot to us players and wants to make us better.’

Athletic and personal development in Mönchengladbach

Andreas Poulsen has his roots in a 20,000-inhabitant town in the Midtjylland region. After one and a half years in Mönchengladbach (260,000 inhabitants), he is now getting used to the big city life in Vienna, ‘I had been in Vienna for two days before and visited the city as a tourist, Vienna is a very beautiful city,’ says Poulsen, who currently lives in the team hotel and is looking for a flat.

In addition to his athletic development, independence is the most important quality that the 20-year-old acquired in one and a half years at Borussia Mönchengladbach. ‘Living alone and managing everything by yourself in a foreign country is an important challenge and experience for a young player,’ explains Poulsen, who doesn't regret his move to Germany at the age of 18, a year after his debut in the Danish first division for FC Midtjylland:

The career path & UEFA Youth League highlights

‘I talked a lot to my family during that time and together we decided that it was the right decision for me. I might have played more at Midtjylland, but at Gladbach I saw better opportunities to improve.’ Poulsen has no language problems in Vienna, his German is very good after two years of school in Denmark and many extra lessons in Mönchengladbach.

The Dane's steep rise began shortly after his 16th birthday when he played regularly in the U19 team of FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Youth League against Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. ‘Most of my teammates and opponents were two to three years older than me. These were very important games for my development. The home win against Atlético in front of many spectators and the match in Barcelona were real highlights for me.’

Will the next Dane make the leap into the national team as a “Violet”?

The fact that his compatriot Jens Stryger-Larsen played for Austria Wien from 2014 to 2017 and made the leap into the Danish national team as a “Violet” player and now played 28 games for his country, shows that players can develop well here, but was no real reason for his move. ‘I know him as a regular player of the Danish national team, of course, but not personally.’

The current Danish U21 team player (14 appearances) has already gained a lot of valuable experience in other youth teams (U16 to U19). The U17 European Championship was certainly the highlight with games against France, Sweden and England. ‘It was a nice tournament in Azerbaijan. We played three good games, especially against England. Unfortunately, we had to bow out because of a bit of bad luck.’

Will his next step succeed with Austria Wien? ‘I will see the results from game to game, I want to collect as much game time as possible and win games with Austria Wien.’