Ngangom Bala Devi has been called for trials at the Scottish Premier League club Rangers Football Club. Bala Devi is the most experienced member of the current Indian women's football team.
According to the press release, Bala Devi is supposed to travel to Glasgow on November 19 for a week-long trial at the club, including training and matches. If Bala is successful, she will sign a professional contract with the Rangers for the 2020 season and will become the first Indian woman to play fully professionally outside India.
Rangers' men's team is managed by Steven Gerrard and are currently in the Scottish Premier League and play in the Europa League. The club's women's football team finished fourth in the Scottish Building Society League 2019 Season (Level 1 - highest level). Rangers women's football team is a fully professional women's team.
Star Cement is sponsoring Bala Devi, which will help her pursue her trials. Thanking them for the support, Bala Devi was quoted as saying, "I am very happy to be given this opportunity and look forward to travelling to Glasgow and doing my best. I hope I can make the club and make my country proud."
Commenting on the initiative, Sanjay Kr. Gupta, CEO, Star Cement, was quoted as saying by the release, "We at Star Cement are very proud to be associated with Bala Devi Ngangom in our bid to take forward the objectives of women sports in India and help them improve their performances and rise in their sports career."
"Star Cement has always been at the forefront of promoting various aspects of North-East life and culture and this support is another humble effort in that direction," Gupta added.
Bala Devi was the AIFF Women's Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015. She also finished as the top scorer in this year's Indian Women's League (IWL) and Senior National Women's Championships.