Bend it like Bala — an Indian police woman becomes the first to join an international football club
- The first Indian to be joining an international football club is a woman named
Bala Devifrom Manipur.
- Bala who had earned the nickname goal machine is the top-scorer for India with 52 goals.
- She hit over 100 goals in 120 games at the domestic level besides being two-time AIFF Women Player of the Year - in 2015 and 2016.
AdvertisementThe first Indian to be joining an international football club is a woman named Bala Devi from Manipur. The former policewoman bagged an 18-month contract from Ranger Football club to play in Scotland. She was also granted a UK work permit on a special exemption.
"I had confidence. For 14 years, I have represented India, 17 years I played for my state (Manipur) and I have played in
A young Bala Devi started playing football with boys, as there was no girls team that she could be a part of.
Here’s a look back at her journey so far:
The plucky girl soon convinced more girls to join her, and created Manipur’s first ever female football team.
At the age of 14, Bala played her first international tournament under-17 level where she represented India.
In 2002, she became a part of the Manipur U19 team and became the best player of the tournament. She retained the title next year too.
At the 2015 National Games in India, Bala who was representing Manipur and won a gold medal for the state.
She has a distinguished international career to her credit as she served as the national team captain. She was called up to play in an international match when she was just 15.
At a domestic level, she scored over 100 goals in 120 games and has been the top scorer in the Indian Women’s League for the past two seasons.
Bala will now play in the Scottish Women's Premier League 1, which is the premier division for women's football in Scotland. The league runs from February to November, with eight teams taking part this season.
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