Overnight Perth Glory added two overseas players to a squad which has had a number of exciting Australian talent signed over the past few months. Ben Gilby hears from the players, head coach Alex Epakis and club CEO Tony Pignata.
Perth Glory have added two overseas players to their exciting new look squad for the forthcoming W-League campaign with the club announcing the arrival of Danish international Mie Leth Jans and American striker Cyera Hintzen.
The 27-year-old Jans has won 26 caps for her country, and can play equally effectively as a central defender or as a holding midfielder has previously played for top European sides Manchester City and Rosengard.
The Dane has spent the last three years in the Swedish top-flight, where she claimed a league winners’ medal with Rosengard in 2019, and is excited at the prospect of beginning a new chapter in her career in Western Australia.
“I’m delighted to be joining the club which I’ve heard many good things about from my Australian friends,” she said.
“After I spoke to Alex Epakis [Head Coach], I was convinced this was the right place for me to go to next on my journey. I like the way Alex is passionate about this project, I like his values and I’m sure I can learn a great deal by working with him.
“I’m very much looking forward to meeting everyone, trying a different league and doing my best to help the team achieve its goals.”
Epakis, meanwhile, believes that securing the Dane’s services represents a major coup for Glory.
“The club and I are certainly extremely pleased to have Mie join us for the upcoming season,” he said.
“Her playing record and resume speaks volumes of the type of character and player she is. She has an immense amount of experience at both world-class club level and international level.
“My initial interactions with Mie painted a very clear picture; she is a leader, she is determined and she is a pure professional. She will no doubt play a critical part in our squad this season and I think everyone associated with Glory and the W-League should be excited to have someone of Mie’s calibre in the competition this year.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Glory CEO Tony Pignata. “Signing a player of Mie’s experience and quality illustrates very clearly our determination to build a squad capable of being extremely competitive in the W-League this season,” he said.
“The squad is shaping up really well and I’m sure our Members and fans are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting campaign.”
The announcement of the acquisition of highly-rated American striker Cyera Hintzen just a few hours later ramped up excitement levels even further in Western Australia.
The 23-year-old, who is a former USA Under-19 international, spent last season at reigning Icelandic league champions Valur for whom she impressed in both the domestic competition and UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Hintzen previously enjoyed a stellar college career at The University of Texas, being named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 having scored ten goals and claimed nine assists.
She is now relishing the prospect of unleashing her attacking talents upon the W-League as part of Head Coach Alex Epakis’ new-look Glory squad.
“Australia has always been a place that I’ve wanted to play in ever since college,” she said.
“I know the players that come out of there are well-developed and have a great experience on and off the field, so when Perth reached out, I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. I’m looking forward to developing a relationship with everyone on and off the field and am excited to learn from the players and the environment around me which will help me grow in my game.
“I want to contribute in any way I can to help achieve our goals and win a Championship.”
Epakis, meanwhile, believes that Hintzen has the potential to make a major impact at W-League level.
“Cyera is a blockbuster player,” he said. “She is an explosive poacher and her scoring ability in various scenarios is of an elite level.
“She has a proven record at Champions League level and is certainly going to make her mark as one of the most exciting attackers in the competition.
“I had been tracking Cyera for a number of months, both in the US and more recently in Europe and I am confident she will be a hit. She is very focused on having a great season with the club and has all the attributes to be a real success.”
Glory CEO Tony Pignata is similarly confident that Hintzen will impress in purple.
“Cyera definitely has that x-factor and we’re thrilled to have signed her,” he said. “She will add further firepower to the exciting attacking talent which we already have in the squad and we’re all looking forward to seeing her in action.”