Forwards together: Incredible to learn from Bala-di, quips young Manisha

At just 18 years of age, Manisha is quite a versatile attacker. A pacey, strong forward with a powerful shot, she has been making rapid progress at the Indian Senior level. And a key factor for all of that are inputs from none other than the mercurial Bala Devi, who she looks up to as a mentor.

“Bala-di is such an amazing player. She is an inspiration for each and every one of us. She is playing club football abroad. She has also represented India for so many years now and scored so many goals. She was my roommate once at a tournament and it was incredible to speak with her and learn from her,” Manisha said.

Hailing from Muggowal, a village in the Hoshiarpur district in Punjab, the young gun detailed how Bala, her senior, shared “valuable tips” which helped her improve, encouraging her to strive and become a top player.

“She (Bala Devi) taught me to be patient. She insisted that being a young player, I have an advantage. But for that I need to work harder than all. Only when you work the hardest, you can become the best player,” she told me.

“Both of us play as strikers and I look up to her to prepare myself mentally for a match, and how to adapt to game situations.”

Bala Devi Rangers

Bala made history earlier this year as she signed for Scottish club Rangers Women’s FC, becoming the first Indian women’s footballer to sign a professional contract with a European club.

“We all look up to her. We hope she scores lots for goals for Rangers WFC in the coming months, and make all of India proud,” Manisha quipped.

Interestingly, it was only after watching Bala Devi, along with other seniors play in the Hero Senior Women’s National Football Championship back in 2016-17 that an up-and-coming Manisha got the push to work harder and strive to break into the National Team.

“The turning point in my career came when I played in the Senior Women’s National Football Championship (NFC) for the first time in Jalandhar. It was there that I got to see National Team players like Bala-di and Asha-di (Ashalata Devi) play. Watching them I got motivated. I felt I need to become like them, play with them in the senior team and represent my country at the senior level,” she recalled.

From thereon, after representing India at U-17 and U-19 level, Manisha made her Senior National Team debut in a friendly match against Hong Kong in January 2019, which according to her, made her understand the value of her efforts.

Manisha IWL

“Making my senior debut for India made me realize the value of the hard work I had put in so far and motivated me to keep working. There were a lot of Senior players in the team, and the coach (Maymol Rocky) gave me a chance. It feels really nice to look back at that moment.”

In February, the 18-year-old added to her burgeoning reputation as she was part of the Gokulam Kerala FC side that clinched the Hero IWL 2019-20 in Bengaluru and was awarded the ‘Emerging Player of the Tournament’ for her performances. Looking back at the tournament, she said that she picked up a lot from the top-quality players in her team.

“It was great to play in the Hero IWL and win the title with Gokulam Kerala FC. I feel my game has improved with the experience and I learned a great deal from the top-quality players — in my team and in the opposition.”

 


Also Read: I was not born with a silver spoon, but I’ve chosen a road less taken – Sahil Kumar

For articles on unknown talented footballers – visit here

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

Lemon Break Sports FC to conduct trials for MFA 1st Division campaign

Lemon Break Sports FC is conducting trials for its first division side that will be playing in the MFA league for the upcoming season. Lemon Break SC is one of…

Share

Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Senior Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Senior Women’s Football Team on the 9th of October at Neville Dsouza Ground, Bandra. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…

Share

NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC, a club based out of Dadar that will be playing in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2021-22 season will be holding trials next Sunday (10th October) Mauli…

Share

Income Tax Football team to conduct trials for Elite Division Campaign

MDFA Elite Division side Income Tax Football team will be conducting trials for ‘Guest Players’ for its upcoming 2021-22 season. The team is now looking to rope in few ‘guest…

Share

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for U 14 and U 16 category in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 2nd and 3rd October at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying…

Share

Footie First to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division team

Footie first will be conducting trials for its first team which will play in the MFA 2nd Division 2021-22 season. While the club has definitely set standards by winning the…

Share

Companeroes SC to conduct trials for MDFA 1st Division Campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 1st division side Companeroes Sports Club will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2021-22 season. Players interested in appearing for the trials must have prior experience…

Share

Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 30th August 2021. Sara FA will be hosting…

Share

Mumbai Ultras FC invites all aspiring footballers for a trial

Mumbai Ultras FC is organising their trials for the upcoming season. The Mumbai Ultras play in the MDFA Super Division. The team is focused on the holistic aspects such as…

Share

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…

Share