How Matildas duo led Danish import Mie Leth Jans to Perth Glory

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Perth Glory have a Matildas duo to thank for bringing Danish import Mie Leth Jans to the A-League Women’s, after their encouragement made her pack her bags and head for Australia amidst a pandemic.

Moving halfway across the world and away from loved ones is a tough decision for anyone, let alone during the uncertainty of COVID-19. For Leth Jans, however, the decision to play in the ALW was made easier through her experiences in Europe with two Australians.

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“The Australians I’ve met before have been such great people. I just felt like it would be a safe environment to come into that I could learn a lot as a human being,” she said.

“Also those [Australians] I have played with have been some really good players so I thought, well it could be cool to explore a new country and a new league at the same time.”

Encouraged by her Vittsjö GIK teammates Emily Gielnik and Claire Polkinghorne, she took the plunge and settled on Perth Glory.

“I chose Perth because of some help from Emily and Polk’s about whether it would be a good decision for me, and they gave me the last couple of pushes,” she said.

“So, it’s also a credit to them that I’m actually here now.”

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After wrapping up the Swedish season with Vittsjö in November, Leth Jans flew to Perth to meet up with her new teammates.

Her performances at the beginning of the season indicated a player who was still finding her feet in a new league.

“For me, it was more about when you move to another country, and you have to adapt to a different style of playing,” she said.

“It always takes a bit of time, and you also have to get to know the other players.

Now eight games into her debut A-League Women’s season, the 28-year-old has become a key figure for Perth.

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And the ALW has impressed her too, with the high tempo and physicality.

Playing as the right-sided defensive midfielder in head coach Alex Epakis’s favoured 4-2-3-1, she has produced some impressive displays in recent weeks, including a last-minute winner against Wellington Phoenix.

While many would consider this the highlight of her season so far, Leth Jan disagreed.

“It’s very difficult to point out,” she said.

“It would be easy to say I scored a goal and that was a highlight, but for me, it’s the whole experience, feeling that I’m doing something to help my team and that’s more … than just like one situation or one game.”

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As one of the more experienced players in the squad, Leth Jan’s leads through her selfless nature and a desire to always put the team before herself.

Coming into the second half of the season, Glory currently sits equal on points with Melbourne Victory in fourth, although having played two games fewer.

She was confident the team could continue its strong run of form and secure a finals spot.

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“We will do whatever we can to make the finals because before the season, nobody expected us to be up there,” she said.

“But if we don’t, I think it will still be a successful season for the club. If you compare it to how it looked last year. So, no matter how it ends, I think this season will be a success for the team.”

Feature Image Credit: Tom McCarthy

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Lachlan Allen
Lachlan is a recent Journalism graduate from Curtin University. He will be covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-league season

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