Rangers Secure The Services Of Experienced Indian International Bala Devi: Right Pedigree For McDonald?

Image Credit: BFC Media

In a recent event conducted in unison by Scottish Premiership giants Rangers FC and Indian Super League high-flyers Bengaluru FC, the European club announced their first-ever Asian signing in Indian international midfielder Bala Devi. The 29-year-old is a regular part of the national team setup and has even been the recipient of the AIFF Women’s Player Of The Year award on two separate occasions.

More than her personally, the effect that this transfer would have on India is a footballing nation simply cannot be put into words. She is set to become the first Indian woman to play football professionally anywhere in the world other than India. She is said to have completed her trials at the club sometime in November.

The Right Pedigree?

The midfielder is capable of operating across a variety of positions in the middle of the park and has the versatility to slot in where she’s required. Despite this though, it’s safe to say that the technically-gifted Indian is at her best while operating out of the number ten role, just in behind the main striker. What she does lack in pace, the 29-year-old more than makes up for in tenacity and industry, and her progress is a massive step in the right direction for Indian football.

Indian football captain Bala Devi Ngangom (R) vies the ball with Bangladesh footballer S Krishnarani Sarkar (2L) during the final of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) women’s football championship at the Kanchanjungha Stadium in Siliguri on January 4, 2017.
India beat Bangladesh 3-1. / AFP / DIPTENDU DUTTA /Getty Images

The Manipuri native footballer began her international playing career aged just fifteen and was even the skipper of the side for some time. Her domestic record in Indian football is the stuff of legend as well, having notched up an impressive return of over 100 goals in around 120 professional appearances. She shot back into the limelight last season when she scored an unbelievable 26 goals in seven fixtures for the Manipur Police Force in last season’s edition of the Indian Women’s League.

Plenty Of Kind Words

The 29-year-old then went on to express her delight about making the move to Europe and said that she’s doing it to act an as inspiration to all the aspiring women footballers in the country. She then went on to thank Amy McDonald – Rangers’ Women’s football manager, who had a lot more to say about Bala than the other way around.

The former Scottish international women’s footballer said that she’s been impressed with Bala’s work on the pitch and that she believes that the Indian could have quite the impact in Glasgow. She then highlighted the attacking threat and versatility that the veteran midfielder would add, before expressing her excitement about the signing in general.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.