When it was announced that Indian women’s national team forward Ngangom Bala Devi has secured a move to Scottish side Rangers Women’s FC – creating history in the process as she became the first Indian woman footballer to sign a professional contract for a European club.
Bala has enjoyed a distinguished career so far in Indian colours, winning a host of trophies – the most recent being the gold medal at the South Asian Games 2019 in Nepal, where she scored six goals in four games to finish as the tournament’s top scorer as well.
National team head coach Maymol Rocky wished her well for the upcoming challenge, saying that she is “sure that she will give her all” in Scotland and will develop her game, which will help the national team as well.
Maymol said, “It’s great for Bala that she has got a contract with a big club like Rangers. She has achieved so much in India already. Now, it’s time for her to take a further step and do well in Europe.
“Of course, it will not be easy, no challenge in life is. But knowing Bala, I am sure she will give it her all and do well in Scotland. Playing at a higher level also means that she will get the chance to improve her own game. That is very crucial for the development of the national team as well. I wish her all the best for this next chapter of her life,” she added.
The 29-year-old Bala has been a part of the senior national team since 2005 and was teammates with ex-India skipper Bembem Devi, who recently became the first Indian woman footballer to be honoured with the Padma Shri — India’s fourth-highest civilian honour. Bembem expressed her delight on Bala’s move and mentioned that “she truly deserves” the opportunity.
She stated, “I’m very happy to see Bala make it all the way to Rangers. I’ve known her for a long time now, and I’ve also played alongside her for the national team. She is one of the most hard-working and dedicated footballers out there and she truly deserves this milestone. I hope that her achievement further helps show the country that girls can do great things in the beautiful game.”
Blue Tigers talisman Sunil Chhetri also wished Bala ahead of her move to Rangers Women’s FC. Chhetri, who has played outside India for MLS side Kansas City Wizards and Portuguese team Sporting Clube de Portugal B, posted on Twitter, “You’re going where no Indian woman footballer has gone, and you will be carrying the dreams of us all. Good luck, Bala. Do us proud.”
Courtesy : AIFF Media Team