Rej ready to take next step with Odense
It has been an eventful couple of months for Mia Rej. After enjoying a brilliant EHF EURO 2020 campaign on home court, there was suddenly a lot more attention on the playmaker.
Her outstanding performances for Denmark prompted DELO EHF Champions League side Odense to get in touch and eventually pry her away from league rivals Kobenhavn.
“At the end of EHF EURO I heard from my agent that Odense was interested in getting me to the club after Helena Elver, unfortunately, tore her ACL.
“I had a talk with the club the day after arriving home from EHF EURO, and after discussing it with my boyfriend I quickly decided to say yes,” said Mia Rej.
Switching clubs in the middle of the season is no straightforward choice but with Rej’s profile at an all-time high and Europe’s elite club competition calling, it was too tempting an opportunity.
“At some point, it was a difficult decision, because I would leave the club I have been with for almost seven years, but at the same time I was ready to take on a new challenge and the attraction of playing the Champions League was decisive for me.”
EHF EURO 2020 was considered an international breakthrough for Rej, who was given control of the attack under new coach Jesper Jensen, proving to be a smart playmaker and real attacking threat, top scoring for her side with 33 goals as Denmark reached the semi-finals.
“I was thrilled to represent Denmark and happy with the way we performed overall. But I have not really thought about it as a breakthrough, I just enjoy playing handball and this time I was lucky and skilled enough to do it for the national team.“
“I hope you will see a lot more of me”
It has been a while coming for the 30-year-old, who has had to be patient in waiting for her chances and diligent in her recovery from two ACL injuries.
The second, in 2018, prevented her from enjoying a season in the EHF Champions League with Kobenhavn. She appears to be in top form at the moment but is the best of Mia Rej yet to come?
“I don’t know if the best is to come, but I hope you will see a lot more of me and I will always strive to be a better player, so maybe the best is to come. We will see.”
A challenge of switching clubs mid-season is the shortage of time to settle in, particularly this year with a packed schedule.
Rej appears to have taken this into her stride, however, scoring nine goals on her European debut against Podavka and being involved a week late in a thrilling Match of the Week against Györ, which ended in a 32:32 draw.
“Everything has gone so fast, and I’m trying to fit into a new team, but I have no complaints at all.
“The club has been really professional, the girls are sweet and the coaches do their best to help me fit into the team systems, so even though there’s a lot of new information, people and systems to learn, I’m really optimistic about the future here in Odense.”
From one Match of the Week to another and this time it is Rej’s first trip abroad with the team to Buducnost. A tricky test for the side and one they will be striving to win to stay in touch at the top of group B, but it is games like this that the Danish playmaker made the move for.
“I am trying to really enjoy playing in the Champions League and meeting the best teams in Europe. And at the same time just putting my own skills into play and giving it my best.
“ I haven’t really had a chance to watch much of Bduucnost yet, but for me they always stand for a big fight. So for us to be able to stick to the game plan and perform at a high level in 60 minutes is crucial,” concludes Rej.