Dangmei Grace, one of the biggest stars of Indian football, has fulfilled her first dream of playing abroad by signing a professional contract with an overseas club – FC Nasaf from Uzbekistan.
“I am extremely excited. It’s a dream come true for me,” Grace told www.the-aiff.com.
“It was not an overnight dream for me. In fact, playing abroad has been a dream for a long. I used to daydream a lot about this day. It’s an opportunity for me to show my skills, and be a good ambassador for Indian women’s football,” she added.
Grace started her International career in 2013 and has won the South Asian Games (2016, 2019) and SAFF Women’s Championships in 2016, and in 2019. At the domestic front, she joined KRYPHSA FC, and moved to Sethu FC in 2018-19 before switching to Gokulam Kerala FC in the Indian Women’s League. In the process, she has two HIWL triumphs under her belt, and a bronze in the AFC Women’s Club Championship last year.
“I want to share my experience as I have played with the National Team for many years. I want to explore myself here. I have played three international matches against the Uzbekistan National team, and they are very tough,” the 26-year-old forward maintained.
Grace is always known for her electric pace, and exceptional dribbling skills. “I know everything will be different in Uzbekistan — their playing style, the culture. I will need to adapt fast, make new friends. But I am extremely excited to bring on this new challenge and share my experiences,” she expressed.
The AIFF Emerging Player of the Year in 2019 had scored a brace against Indonesia in the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers, and more recently scored against Venezuela during India’s tour of Brazil in 2021.
“We are all extremely thankful for the exposure tours that have made us confident as players, and also facilitated the popularity and growth of women’s football in India. Experience in international football is paramount, and the exposure tours over the last few years have helped me immensely in my individual growth,” she stated.
“My message to the young girls will be, keep trying — anything can happen if you keep believing in yourself. Whatever challenges you face please don’t give up, keep trying until you reach your goal,” Grace concluded.