Star Indian Footballer Bala Devi gets into Scottish club Rangers, becomes the first Indian Women to play overseas professionally
Scottish club Rangers have signed Bala Devi who hails from Manipur Police on an 18-month deal after a victorious spell on trial at Rangers in November. Bala becomes the only female Footballer to achieve this feat. The club confirmed the same in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the move is subject to ‘international clearance’
Bala is currently leading the leading scorer for the National women’s team, scoring 52 times off 58 outings since 2010, which makes her the top international goal scorer in the South Asian region. Bala also served as the national captain, while her journey began at a mere age of 15.
In her recent edition of the Indian Women’s league, the 29-year-old scored 25 times in 7 games, was yet again the leading scorer which was 21 goals last year. She had finished the top-scorer in the last edition of the Indian Women’s League, scoring 25 in 7 games, and was also the top-scorer in the women’s nationals last year with 21 goals.
In a total of domestic games, Bala has an outstanding scoring record with over 100 goals in 120 games in domestic football. And has been titled with the top scorer in the Indian Women’s League for the past two seasons and has also been named as All India Football Federation (AIFF) Women’s Player of the Year twice, in 2015 and 2016.
Congratulations pour in for 'history-maker' Bala Devi 🎉🙌
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 29, 2020
“To play my football in Europe with one of the biggest clubs in the world is something I could never have dreamed of,” Bala said after signing with Rangers.
“I hope my move to Rangers serves as an example to all the women footballers back home in India who dream of taking up the sport professionally.
“I’m looking forward to making the most of the top-class facilities and coaching and I am certain I will benefit immensely from the standard of training and competition.
“I’m very grateful to Amy McDonald, the coaching staff and the entire management at Rangers for believing in me.
“Also, this move wouldn’t have been possible without Bengaluru FC who have been instrumental throughout. I can’t wait to get to Glasgow, join my teammates and give this my best shot.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Bala to Rangers. She is an exciting signing on so many levels,” said Amy McDonald, Women’s and Girls’ manager at Rangers.
“I would like to warmly welcome Bala to both Rangers and to Glasgow. We believe this is a huge step for the women’s game both in Scotland and in general,” said Craig Mulholland, Rangers Head of Academy.
“Rangers are committed to building a successful women’s team for years to come and the acquisition of a talent like Bala is another step towards our goal of domestic and European success.”
Rangers in their press release, credited their partners in India, Bengaluru FC for facilitating the move.
“We are delighted at Bala securing what is a historic move to Rangers Football Club,” said Mandar Tamhane, CEO of Bengaluru FC.
“Once we knew that Bala had done more than enough to impress the coaching staff at the club during her trial stint in November, we were determined to help to make the move happen in any way that we could.
“Bala’s signing with Rangers sets a very encouraging precedent for women footballers from India and we are glad that Bengaluru FC’s partnership with Rangers is creating the right kind of impact in such a short period of time.”