Devi joins Rangers in professional first for female Indian player

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Indian football player Bala Devi (Photo Facebook)

LONDON (Reuters) – Bala Devi has become the first female Indian player to sign an overseas professional contract after joining Glasgow side Rangers on an 18-month deal, the Scottish club said on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old forward’s transfer remains subject to international clearance.

Devi, who joins from Manipur Police Sports Club after trials in Glasgow last November, has scored more than 40 goals for her country.

“To play my football in Europe with one of the biggest clubs in the world is something I could never have dreamed of,” she told the club website (www.rangers.co.uk).

“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.”

Rangers announced a two-year partnership with Indian side Bengalaru FC last September.

“Bala is a playmaker who likes to play as a number 10 and we believe she will contribute goals and assists to the team,” said Rangers women’s team manager Amy McDonald.

“She will provide us with an attacking threat and a versatility that we can utilise to our benefit going into the 2020 season.

“Her move can be inspirational for players everywhere to show them where football can take them and what it can help them achieve.”

Indian goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan played seven games for West Ham Ladies in England between 2015-18, before the East London team joined the professional women’s Super League.

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