Bengaluru FC, through their partnership with Scottish Premier League side Glasgow Rangers FC, have facilitated a week-long trial for Indian Women’s team striker Ngangom Bala Devi with the Scottish giants. The former AIFF Women’s Player of the Year has been training with the professional Rangers Women’s Football Club since November 19.
The club currently plays in the top-flight of the Scottish Women’s Premier League which comprises two divisions of eight teams each. Rangers WFC have finished fourth in the recently concluded 2019 season.
Speaking on the occasion, Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane said, “The development of women’s football is one of the key aspects of our partnership with Rangers and we’re really happy to facilitate this trial for Bala Devi. We’re sure she will make most of this experience in Glasgow. Bengaluru FC, with Rangers, will look to create more such opportunities in the future.”
“I am delighted at this chance and would like to thank Bengaluru FC and Rangers FC for making it happen. Training in the UK will be a new experience for me, and it is one that I am looking to make the most of. I also hope that this opportunity will open doors for more talent in women’s football in India to opportunities like this,” said Devi who was named as the AIFF Women’s Player of the Year in both 2014 and 2015.
Bala Devi played in the inaugural season of Indian Women’s League in 2016-17 for Manipur Police SC in the qualifying round, before turning out for Eastern Sporting Union in the final round. The following season, she joined KRYPHSA FC before re-joining Manipur Police SC in the 2018-19 season.
Devi finished as the top scorer in 2017-18 and 2018-19 scoring 12 and 26 goals respectively. With 38 goals in the competition proper, she is currently the record goalscorer in the IWL.
Having been part of the Indian age-group teams since 2005, she has featured regularly for the women’s national team over the last fourteen years. Bala Devi has scored 36 goals for the country, while helping India win the SAFF Women’s Championship three times (2010, 2014, 2016) apart from two gold medals at the South Asian Games (2010, 2016).
Rangers Women’s and Girls’ Football Manager, Amy McDonald expressed her excitement at having Bala Devi on board the Women’s Programme. “Welcoming Bala Devi Ngangom on trial represents an exciting development for the Women’s programme. The fruits of the club’s partnership with Bengaluru FC are already being seen with Rangers being able to welcome India’s best footballing talent. We are looking forward to having Bala here in Glasgow and seeing what she can do at first hand. Planning has already started for next season and we have the opportunity to build a really strong squad over the winter break to truly compete in 2020.”