Striker Derek Asamoah on his goal scoring debut against Burton Albion
We spoke to new signing Derek Asamoah shortly after his goal scoring debut against Burton on Tuesday evening.
“It was amazing to be involved in,” he said. “Unfortunately we weren’t on the right side of the score line but it was a very entertaining game. I thought we were unlucky in the end. If we keep playing that way I know we’ve got enough quality to push on because we have some very good players in the squad.
“We played really well in the second half. The manager made a positive change by putting two up front and we thought we would push on once we got our goal. We got into great positions and we just needed that bit of luck.”
“I couldn’t have asked for more with my goal,” he admitted. “There isn’t a better way to start my Carlisle career. I just gambled on a ball coming through and I wanted to get it past the keeper. I then had to compose myself and put it in, and it was a great feeling to score again in English football.
“I had mixed emotions when the ball went over the line. I’ve been away from the UK for so long so to come back and score on my debut is amazing. It was a bit overwhelming to be honest but, like I say, it was a great feeling to get a goal again.”
“There were a few nerves when I was told I was coming on but I knew there was a job to be done,” he explained. “The gaffer has shown tremendous belief in me and he has put a lot of trust in me. It was my first game but he has put me on at half time and I think that does show how much belief he has in what I can add. Hopefully I’ve shown something to repay that.
“I think it was easier for me to settle into the game because I know the lads and I know how they like to play. I knew if I could get myself into decent positions then we have good enough players here to find me. We dominated play in the second half and spent a lot of time in their box. We just needed the ball to fall for us but it wasn’t to be.”
On the reception he received from the crowd, he said: “The fans received me so well it was unbelievable. They cheered for me when my name was read out and that was really nice.
“It gave me confidence this club is going to be important for me. I think I’ve shown them a little bit of what I can bring and hopefully they’ll keep getting behind me and the team. I’ve got a great feeling things are going to get better here and that we are all going to keep improving together.”
And the mobile front man admitted that he was delighted to be able to rejoin manager Keith Curle having worked with him previously at Chester City.
“Keith knows me and he knows what I’m about,” he told us. “I also know what he’s and it was a no brainer for me to come here once I got the call. I wanted to show him what my fitness levels were like and I know he has great belief in me. I’m here now and I’m going to work hard and get myself into peak condition so that I can push on and hopefully deliver even more.
“If there is anyone in England to work for then it’s Keith Curle. He’s always shown great belief in me and we’ve kept in contact even when I was over in Korea. He’s a great man and he knows how to get the best out of players. He’s played at a high level and his man management skills are excellent. It’s now about settling in and getting my fitness and physical condition up and we can take it from there.
“I spent a bit of time away from football with the family before Keith spoke to me. I hadn’t been getting to see anyone so it was good to take a bit of time out. However, I had it in the back of my mind that I was either going to go back to Korea or try and play here in England. I just wanted to get in here and get started once I’d spoken to the gaffer.”
“It’s been a frustrating few weeks because I’ve been here and I’ve wanted to be involved,” he said. “However, it’s been a kind of blessing at the same time. I signed, then I’ve waited for the clearance, but within that time I’ve managed to get my fitness levels up.
“I’ve been able to train with the lads rather than go straight in at the deep end. I’ve been itching to play again but the timing has been good. I feel a lot better and fitter and hopefully that will continue. There is still a lot to come from me. I’ve been with the team for three weeks now and I’m getting fitter all the time. I want to be at a level where I can excel and do my best.”
Looking back at his time in South Korea, he said: “I had an amazing time over there. It was a new experience for me, a new way of life and I had three good years there. But I’ve always loved playing in England and it’s a great feeling to be back.
“They are very fit lads in Korea and believe me they just don’t stop running. It’s a different style of play but my experiences allow me to be able to adapt to different styles. Hopefully that will mean I will adapt back into English football quicker.
“Korea is a beautiful country. I was a bit sceptical when Pohang Steelers said they wanted to sign me because I didn’t know what to expect from going to play football in Asia. It turned out to be amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s such a beautiful multi-cultural country. I thought it was going to be a different world, but it wasn’t. I have a lot of fantastic memories to take away from my time there and I’m glad I did it.”
And on what he wants from his spell at Brunton Park, he said: “The love for the game keeps me going. I love playing football and I want to play for as long as possible. I have a passion and willingness to succeed and better myself. You never stop learning so I will keep going as long as my body allows.”
United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Derek Asamoah now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.
to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.