4½ seasons has gone since former Golden League Council candidate Søren Olesen scouted the current number one goalkeeper of Mission Superliga Odense. Back then the 15 years old talent could only have dreamed of being a safe last man for his new club. Today it is a reality. Odense reached the 7th round of the national Cup this season and is currently number 3 in the 12th best V.series in Denmark, furthermore Odense has the second best defense in the series according to the score of the teams in Denmark’s V.242. A big part of this success can be related to the youngest member of the main squad in Odense – Ricco ‘Glue Glove’ Pilgaard. Two seasons after he got a pro contract with the club, Ricco has 11 clean sheets in 51 games and he is on the hunt to grab club record from MSO goalkeeper legends, and U20 keepers, ‘The Emperor’ Emin Allahverdiyev and ‘GoldenBoy’ Paolo Baggio. He has today played more games for the club than Allahverdiyev and he will reach Baggio on that list next season. Regaring clean sheets, he is halfway there. Will he make it? If you ask Ricco the answer is yes and he is ready to work hard for a long time to reach his goals – To win the HTUA Goalkeeper Of The Season award.
Hattrick News caught up with the 19 years old talent after the training Friday morning to have a talk with the only player in Mission Superliga Odense squad to never play for other clubs than the one his is with at the moment. Young Ricco was originally a striker in his youngest years as a football player and last season he proved that he still can find the net, when he scored 3 goals in 2 league games, but he also showed some great potential as a goalkeeper with his 6 clean sheets in the same season. Last season was also the season where he became the number one goalkeeper in Odense and for 12 weeks he has proven himself worthy as the replacement of ‘The Emperor’ Emin Allahverdiyev. Ricco is not the same talent as Allahverdiyev or Baggio, but his feelings for the mother club and his training rate lift his game to an impressive level, when he enters a field in the MSO kit.
‘Glue Glove’ also think, that having two very different goalkeepers in the club is good for his own development as a player. Ke Xinyun has some forces, where Ricco is not that strong yet, but he truly believe that he is the better of the two. He also know that he has to continue to work hard to keep the Chinese goalkeeper behind him in. Competition is good and it makes him more fit, sharper and eventually better in the games and that goes for Ke too. Being in as tough a Series as Odense is this season, it is good to be two good keepers cause like Ricco say, he like to be ready and fully rested for the big encounter every week and that can only happen if Ke performs on top in the games he get to play. So far Ricco and company has done great in V.242 and on Sunday they can take a baig step closer to survival and a new season in the strong series if they can win the home game against Drugless United. If you ask Ricco he is 100% sure that Odense will take the win.
Oh yes and then there was the talk about the HTU Award as the best goalkeeper of the season. Will he take it this season? Ricco do not believe so, but in a season or two he believe he will become a contender. If it is enough to knockdown the great Charlieboy down from the throne. We will have to wait and see about that.