This Indian woman footballer becomes first to bag overseas contract
In a historic moment for Indian football, Bala Devi has become the first woman from the nation to bag a professional contract from a foreign club. She has been signed by Scottish giants, Rangers, based in the capital city of Glasgow. Bala, who hails from Imphal, would be donning the number 10 jersey at the club. Here are further details on this.
Bala signs three-year contract with Rangers
As far as the contract is concerned, Bala is reported to have signed a three-year deal with the Glasgow-based club. She also expressed her delight at wearing her favorite number, 10. "Now, I want to do well over there and motivate youngsters in our country. I want to tell them that they can also dream big and play for top clubs," she said.
Bembem Devi is Bala's inspiration
"In 2002, I was selected to play for Manipur to play in the National Games. So, I got a chance to play with Bembem Devi and she was also my roommate during the tournament. That stint inspired and motivated me to do well," added Bala.
Bala has had a fine footballing career
As far as Bala's career in the country is concerned, it has been a fine one. At the club level, she has so far scored 42 goals in 47 matches. Playing for India, she has scored 52 goals in 58 matches to date. While she started her club career with Manipur Police, she has also played for Eastern Sporting Union and KRYPHSA.
Accolades won by Bala
Bala has also won several accolades in her career so far. She has thrice won the SAFF Women's Championship, along with twin South Asian Games gold. She was also awarded the AIFF Women's Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015.
Rangers club ambassador terms Bala's signing as a milestone event
Following the signing of Bala, Rangers ambassador, Mark Hateley, termed it as a milestone event for both India and Scotland, as they have already signed 14 fresh new players. "Bala will be the icing on the cake of our new signings as she comes with lots of experience," he was quoted as saying at the official event of Bala's signing.
BFC's partnership with Rangers is creating right impact: BFC CEO
"She is now the face of Indian football for ladies and for us, she will be a key player in the number 10 shirt. If she doesn't play 90 minutes of every game, I'll be disappointed," said Mandar Tamhane, Bengaluru FC CEO.