Why Ellie Carpenter's move to Olympique Lyonnais is raising excitement in Australia

Why Ellie Carpenter's move to Olympique Lyonnais is raising excitement in Australia

Ellie Carpenter's move to French club Olympique Lyonnais - which was made official late on Wednesday night is causing a stir in the  Australian sports scene

The Matildas star's move to France is one of the biggest transfers ever made by an Australian player, male or female.

The excitement in Australia is one for the fact that the defender has igned for arguably the world's most dominant sports team, Olympique Lyonnais.

 It might not make the same sort of splash as the deals that took Harry Kewell to Liverpool, Tim Cahill to Everton or even Sam Kerr to Chelsea. But none of them joined a team as dominant as the one Carpenter will link up with next week.

In women football, Lyon are one of the biggest teams in the world. They've won the UEFA Women's Champions League a record six times - including the last four in a row. They've also taken out the Division 1 Féminine title in France an incredible 14 times. Again, all in a row.

Few football teams, or any other sport, can match that sort of honour roll.

At Lyon, Carpenter will link up with some of the biggest stars in women's foot including Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural winner of the women's Ballon d'Or, tops the list. But then there's German national team captain Dzsenifer Marozsán, Japan skipper Saki Kumagai, and a fair chunk of the French side that made last year's World Cup quarter finals.

Carpenter is hopeful playing in France will help hone her technical skills ahead of 2023 World Cup which may very well be hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

"It's really exciting with the majority of us Matildas now heading over to Europe. It's just going to make our team that much stronger," Carpenter said.

Carpenter's transfer has also netted her US club, Portland Thorns, a tidy transfer fee. It's been several months in the making, and she said it would not have been possible without the hard work of her agent Buddy Farah, who waded through a litany of late-night phone calls and Zoom meetings to get it over the line.

Carpenter's shift is still subject to a medical, which she will complete upon her arrival in France next week. Once she's cleared, she will be immediately registered to play for Lyon, who are scheduled to meet Matildas teammate Emily Gielnik's Bayern Munich in mid-August in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, which were postponed due to COVID-19.

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