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'I feel more comfortable here' - Football Ferns goalkeeper ready for World Cup in adopted home

When the Football Ferns begin their World Cup campaign in France later this week, goalkeeper Erin Nayler can find comfort in some familiar surroundings.

Having played in France since 2016 - first for Olympique Lyon and now for Bordeaux, Nayler finds herself playing for her country on the biggest stage in her home away from home.

Nayler herself though is playing down any perceived advantage in this year's World Cup.

"I don't think it gives me an advantage, but I guess I feel more comfortable here," Nayler told 1 NEWS.

A familiar face in the Football Ferns' side the last few years and with 62 caps to her name, Nayler has seen the good and bad times playing for her country - but is now confident of a shot at glory.

"Since I"ve been in the team, the experience has grown and grown, and I think at this point our defence I would say is probably one of the strongest in the world.

"We've all known each other and played with each other since we were young, so that can take us further than what we could on technique and physicality alone."

Shining in the Ferns' warm up win over England earlier this month, manager Tom Sermanni hailed Nayler's importance to a New Zealand side on the rise.

"She's certainly a world class goalkeeper," Sermanni said.

"We saw that in the last game against England where she was outstanding in every area. For a lot of that game we were under extreme pressure and she was calm she was cool she was collected and she never misstepped at all.

"She was perfect in every way so if she can keep up that form, she'll be one of the top goalkeepers of this tournament."

The Football Ferns begin their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on Wednesday morning NZT in Le Havre.

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Playing for Bordeaux, Erin Nayler's World Cup will be in familiar territory. Source: 1 NEWS


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