Saturday, March 16, 2013

Keep an eye on: Kevin Niclas Mensah


Photo: Jesper Poulsen / Bold.dk
  • Name: Kevin Niclas Mensah
  • Age: 21 (15.05.1991)
  • Position: Midfield/Attacker
  • Club: Viborg FF
  • International Caps:
    • Denmark U20
      • 3 Match(es)
      • 0 Goal(s)
    • Denmark U19
      • 5 Match(es)
      • 1 Goal(s)
    • Denmark U18
      • 4 Match(es)
      • 2 Goal(s)
    • Denmark U17
      •  12 Match(es)
      •    1 Goal(s)
    • Denmark U16
      •    2 Match(es)
      •    0 Goal(s)
  • Value: £225.000 (transfermarkt.co.uk) 
 
Since last year, we have kept an eye on one of the Mensah brothers - Jeff Mensah. Today, we include his brother Kevin Mensah in our Keep an eye on archive.

Kevin Niclas Mensah is the oldest of the two brothers, spending his entire career in Viborg FF where he also played during his youth years. Since his breakthrough in Viborg's youth department as well as in the Danish youth national teams, he has been considered as one of the greatest talents in Denmark. In 2005, several SAS-Liga clubs (Superliga today), was interested in the midfielder, but Kevin decided to stay in Viborg.

“At the time, Viborg was playing in the Superliga, so I didn’t feel it would be any different playing for one of the other teams," Mensah says.

The player does nor regret staying in Viborg, despite the club has been playing in the Danish 1. Divison the last couple of years. In fact, he enjoys playing in Viborg:

”Viborg is a great club with a lot of great people around it. We [the players] is getting along well, and within the last couple of years it has become more competitive. The competitive spirit in the squad has improved, which makes it more attractive for other players to join. We know we are getting better; it is a club in development and with ambitions and talent to at some point play in the Superliga.”

In 2007, Mensah's talent was discovered outside Denmarks boundaries as both Arsenal and Newcastle invited him for a trial. He joined Arsenal in Italy where they played a youth tournament against Inter, Vicenza and Cheivo. The team made it to the final, where the Dane played fulltime - unfortunately Arsenal lost 1-0. The experience was positive for Mensah:

"I was playing with some real talented players; one of them was Jack Wilshere, one of the 10th best midfielders in the world today. Of course, it is great to have played with a guy like him, but it is not something I think about in my every day.”

However, it stayed with the trial and Mensah is still to be found in Viborg where coach Ove Christensen is more than happy to have him.  The coach describes Mensah as a technical strong and talent players in his squad. Furthermore, he tells that the talent is one of the fastest in the squad.

Kevin Mensah had his debut in 2009 against Næstved in the Danish 1. Division, but long before that he had been included in the squad for a match against Aalborg in the Superliga. Despite his debut came in the 1. Division, the talent remembers the match with great pleasure:

“I was so proud; suddenly, everyone I know from this city saw me, a young guy on the pitch. As I remember I did well and despite losing the players and the fans welcomed me well,“ he says.

In Viborg Kevin has his younger brother Jeff in whom he finds strong support. According to Kevin, the two Mensah brothers are capable getting them best out of each other as well as seeing each others faults. However, the oldest of the two brother's doesn't hope that they will play together for the rest of their career's.

“I hope not; I hope both of us can take the next step. We are two individuals with separate patches and separate ambitions for our lives. However, it would be great to play together again as we do now, later in out career.”

Coach Ove Christensen is also happy to have the two brothers on his team: “It is a pleasure to have those two guys as Jeff has the same genes as Kevin. Jeff is also a happy and positive guy and has some physical and technical abilities. They are much the same, and both have some tactical things to learn. It is two guys that you can only like, and they are great ambassadors for the club.”

The Superliga club FC Nordsjælland invited Mensah for a trial in 2011, but Mensah returned to Viborg where he is ready to stay. At the moment,  Viborg is in a position to be promoted for the Superliga next season, why Mensah doesn't see any point in changing club. Instead, he would like to fulfill his potential in his current club.

However, he acknowledge that if he had played in a Superliga club he probably would have played more for the Danish youth national teams. However, injuries have also had an impact on the talents career, but he now feels that he has put the injuries behind him. In fact, one of his goals is to play for the Danish national team in the future. Mensah also has another possibility as he has Ghanian blood running through his veins. Unfortunately for Ghana, Mensah laughs and says:

"I've never considered playing Ghana!" 
 
   

 
  




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