‘The hard work I put in, will open the path for others,’ says Bala Devi

In a Nation of over a billion people, to be the first Indian woman to sign a professional football contract and score in a European league requires something special. But, Ngangom Bala Devi has plenty of that in her locker.

The 31-year-old striker has settled into life at Scotland, and believes that the hard work that she is putting in as the only Indian in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, will pave the way for others in the future.

“When I arrived, with the lockdown it was quite emotionally difficult, figuring out what to do and how to go about everything was difficult. But slowly I developed a positive mind-set thinking about why I’m here and that I’ve to make India proud,” she said. “And I kept thinking that the amount of hard work that I put in will open the path for others to follow. I used to also keep in touch with my family at home a lot so that helped me get through.”

Playing for Rangers Women FC, Bala recently grabbed headlines with a long-range screamer, her second strike for the club, to which her teammates could muster just one reaction – “WOW!”

“The girl who passed to me was very happy that I made it an assist for her.” chuckles Bala, “She had never seen a shot like that go in before so was really happy and came to me just saying, Wow!”

The Indian Women’s Team and Rangers forward highlighted the importance of thinking fast for a striker.

“As a striker it’s extremely important to make a decision in a fraction of a second. As the ball came I thought it would be ahead of me but it was slightly behind. However, I stopped it and in a fraction of a second decided to shoot,” said Bala. “After scoring, I saw a lot of messages on my phone and a lot of positive reactions on the internet so thank you so much.”

The top-scorer for the National Women’s Team and three-time SAFF Championship winner also spoke about the leaps that she has seen the women’s team make in recent years.

(Image Courtesy: Rangers Women FC/Twitter)

“Whatever I’ve learned, what I’ve seen and what I can share from my experience (playing abroad) I will definitely share with the National Team players and support them. But the level of the players who are representing India now has improved a lot. From fitness to confidence I’ve seen a big improvement and I think India will go very ahead.”

She also pointed to developments like the forthcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 to be organised in India as signs that Indian Football is definitely moving forward together.

“I’ve been representing India since 2005 and nothing like this (FIFA U-17 WWC 2022) has happened before. But from 2017 to now we’ve taken huge steps forward. The federation is also taking a lot of efforts from U-17 to Seniors to provide exposure. Plus, we’ve got exposure to play in Europe with back-to-back matches in Spain. So we’ve seen our women footballers get better and become more confident, and I would like to thank them for that.”



For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: From street football to I-League 2nd division: the inspiring story of Daniel Muthu

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

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…