Rangers FC sign Bala Devi on 18-month-deal

Bala Devi is Rangers' first Asian international footballer. BFC Media

Rangers Football Club on Wednesday announced the signing of India attacker Bala Devi from Manipur Police Sports Club, subject to international clearance. The 29-year-old joins the club on an 18-month-deal after a successful spell on trial at Rangers in November.

Bala also becomes Rangers' first Asian international footballer.

She is the current top scorer for the Indian national women's team, netting 52 times in 58 games since 2010, also making her the top international goal scorer in the South Asian region. She has scored over 100 goals in 120 games at the domestic level.

Bala has been the top scorer in the Indian Women's League for the past two seasons and has also been named as All India Football Federation (AIFF) Women's Player of the Year twice, in 2015 and 2016.

"To play my football in Europe with one of the biggest clubs in the world is something I could never have dreamed of," Bala said. "I hope my move to Rangers serves as an example to all the women footballers back home in India who dream of taking up the sport professionally. I'm looking forward to making the most of the top-class facilities and coaching and I am certain I will benefit immensely from the standard of training and competition."

Amy McDonald, women's and girls' football manager at Rangers FC said: "We are thrilled to welcome Bala to Rangers. She is an exciting signing on so many levels. Bala is a playmaker who likes to play as a number 10 and we believe she will contribute goals and assists to the team. She will provide us with an attacking threat and a versatility that we can utilise to our benefit going into the 2020 season. Bala is already a role model for girls across India and they will now be able to see her travel across the world to become a professional footballer."

Rangers head of academy Craig Mulholland said: "I would like to warmly welcome Bala to both Rangers and to Glasgow. We believe this is a huge step for the women's game both in Scotland and in general. Rangers are committed to building a successful women's team for years to come and the acquisition of a talent like Bala is another step towards our goal of domestic and European success."