French club AS Saint-Etienne have completed the signing of Nigeria international Regina Otu, on a one-year deal, SavidNews can exclusively report.
The Super Falcons defensive midfielder, who arrived in France on Monday was unveiled on Tuesday just 24 hours after passing her medical and putting pen to paper with the Vertes. She will don jersey no 11.
The 26-year-old, who joined the French second division side from Minsk, having mutually ended her two-year contract with the Belarus giants following their 2022-23 UEFA Women’s Champions League exit.
Reacting to her switch, Otu told the club website: ” I am very happy to sign here because Saint-Étienne is a great club and represents a great step forward in my career.
“I am very honored that the coach has placed his trust in me. I will do everything to be up to it and help ASSE find Division 1. This is the level at which a club like this must evolve. ”
Laurent Mortel, coach of the Vertes on Otu signing, said: “Regina is a very athletic player who will bring us a lot of percussion in the game. Discussions were started in July but we had agreed with her club to wait for her to finish the qualifying for the Champions League. I’m happy to see her join us.”
Mid-August, Saint-Etienne, who already had Nigeria international Esther Okoronkwo on their books launched their chase of Nigerians with capture of Joy Bokiri from Nigerian champions Bayelsa Queens.
The signing saw the 23-year-old made her return to Europe after her last stint with Swedish Damallsvenskan side AIK in 2021. Before thenm she had previously played starred for Sporting de Huelva in Spain (2018), Elpides Karditsas in Greece (2018-2019), Konak Belediyespor in Turkey (2019-2020).
On international front, Bokiri was a member of Nigeria’s squads to the 2012 and 2014 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cups and 2016 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, scoring three goals in total in the tournaments.
Late August, the promotion-chasing Green continued their Nigerian signing-spree with the acquisition of Nigerian goalkeeper Yewande Balogun from American side Coppermine United on a one-year deal.
Born in Washington DC and trained at the University of Maryland from 2007 to 2011, Balogun wore the jersey of the American national teams very early on from the U14 to U20 category before .
Once his training was completed with the Maryland Terrapins, Yewande Balogun moved to Ottawa (Canada) in 2009, then played for Washington Freedom (2010) then Chesapeake Charge (2011) before playing the next seven seasons with Youngbloods FC where she was crowned Champion of the Amateur League in 2017 before playing for California Storm (2021) and recently the Coppermine United (2022).
This week, the Greens completed a hat-trick before the closure of the summer window on September 20 with the capture of Otu, the second member of the Women’s World Cup-bound Nigeria squad at the Morocco 2022 Women’s African Cup of Nations Cup.
The trio swells the unprecedented number of Nigerians at the French club to four, namely, Okoronkwo, who recovering from a long-term sideline due to an ACL injury, Bokiri, Balogun and now Otu.
The Nigerian quartet will be relied upon as the Greens continue their quest for a topflight promotion with the first home match against Clermont on Saturday (3 p.m.) after opening day 2-1 victory over Albi.