MOTW in Denmark like home game for Sandra ToftArticle
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MOTW INTERVIEW: The Brest Bretagne Handball goalkeeper will visit her home country for the clash with Odense on Sunday

»EHF CL Channel »2020-21 Women's News

Each visit to Denmark has become precious to Sandra Toft since the goalkeeper left Team Esbjerg in 2019 and moved to France, joining Brest Bretagne Handball.

But the next trip to her home country is even more special: The Match of the Week in round 6 of the DELO EHF Champions League sees Brest visiting Odense Håndbold.

“It’s always special to be back as I don’t have many opportunities to do so,” Toft says. “When you’re playing in a foreign club, you always want to give your best whenever you come back to your home country. It brings a little bit extra motivation.”

Toft never lost touch with Nycke Groot

Brest is the second foreign club in the 31-year-old Danish international’s career, after spending three seasons (2014-17) with Larvik HK in Norway.

Toft previously played for TTH Holstebro, and she still knows the current Odense centre back pretty well from their shared time there: Nycke Groot.

The Dutch backcourt player and the Danish goalkeeper played side by side at TTH, but even where Groot went to Györi Audi ETO KC and Toft to Larvik, the pair have never lost touch.

“We don’t phone every morning or so, but we’re always happy to see each other. We’ve kept in touch since we played together in Holstebro,” says Toft, who is full of praise for the former Dutch international.

“She is an amazing player, very hard to play against, but she’s not the only danger in this Odense team,” says Toft, who will also face several teammates from the Danish national team on Sunday.

"We are quite happy with the start of the season"

Odense are second in group B with eight points, and the Danish side would take the sole lead of they get at least a draw against Brest, who have two points less in fourth place.

Brest suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend against CSKA.

“We’re quite happy with the start of the season so far. There were times when we played really good, some other times when we struggled a little bit more,” Toft says.

“Sadly, we did not play our best game against CSKA last week, and in the Champions League, you pay the price immediately,” says Toft, who was part of the EHF Champions League 2014/15 All-star Team during her time at Larvik.

"Odense have the momentum on their side"

Though she never played for Odense in the past, Toft has been keeping an eye on what her Denmark national teammates have been doing so far.

And she seems to realise how hard it will be for Brest to take the points this weekend.

“Odense are a really good team and they seem to have the momentum on their side,” she says. “Hopefully we will be able to give them their second defeat of the season on Sunday, but we do know how tough a task it will be.”

TEXT: Kevin Domas