Lyon recruit goalkeeper Erin Nayler

Lyon recruit goalkeeper Erin Nayler

The New Zealand stopper strutted her stuff at the Olympics to earn a contract with the French champions.

Ameé Ruszkai

Erin Nayler has signed for French champions Olympique Lyonnais.

The goalkeeper was New Zealand's number one at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio this month, and her performances clearly caught the eye of one of Europe's biggest names.

Nayler was a free agent as she headed to Brazil, having been released by NWSL outfit Sky Blue FC just 26 days after signing - without playing a single minute of football.

Speaking to New Zealand outlet Stuff after this disappointing news and ahead of a huge summer tournament with her nation, she expressed her frustration but was optimistic about the future.

"The Olympics is a great stage to show what I can do and hopefully secure a contract," Nayler said last month.

"It is good timing really. If I had been in the US still, it would have closed off doors, because that league finishes when other leagues have already started and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to transfer to a European team," she added.

"If I do perform well, it will open up a lot more opportunities," and she was more than right.

Erin Nayler will hope for a better experience outside of her homeland this time. (Photo: Photosport)
Erin Nayler will hope for a better experience outside of her homeland this time. (Photo: Photosport)

Competition aplenty

Nayler, who has 31 caps for her country, will have her work cut out for her when it comes to earning some playing time at Lyon, however.

The French side already have Meline Gerard and Sarah Bouhaddi, who always divides opinion, on their books, both regular members of France's national team.

The awkward situation with Wang Fei last year showed that a third choice 'keeper is always needed though - with Gerard, Bouhaddi and even youth team stopper Cindy Perrault all injured at one point.

Furthermore, Lyon are out to defend three titles this year. As well as winning the Division 1 Feminine, they clinched the Coupe de France Feminine and, the big one, the UEFA Women's Champions League.

With plenty of games to play, a chance is sure to open up for Nayler to show what she can do.