Indian women’s team players Manisha Kalyan, Dangmei Grace secure moves to foreign clubs
Indian women’s football team midfielder Manisha Kalyan has signed a two-year contract with Cyprus’s champion club Apollon Ladies FC, her former club Gokulam Kerala FC announced on Twitter on Sunday.
With the move, Kalyan is set to become the first Indian player to play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Congratulations to #BlueTigresses 🐯 forward @ManishaKalyan4 🇮🇳 as she joins Appollon Ladies in Cyprus 🇨🇾— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) July 3, 2022
We wish her the very best at her new club 🙌#BackTheBlue 💙 #ShePower 👧 #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/abA0sn5SfZ
The Cypriot club will participate in the Round 1 qualifying playoff for the UEFA Women's Champions League and are set to take on Latvia’s Riga FC on August 18.
Kalyan won the AIFF Emerging Player award in 2021 after cementing her place in the senior national team. Kalyan who hails from Hoshiarpur district in Punjab came through India’s age-group teams.
The 20-year-old has scored four times for the national team, most notably against Brazil in November 2021. A move to Europe should further help her aid her progress as a player.
Dangmei Grace joins Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf
Kalyan’s senior teammate, striker Dangmei Grace has also secured a move abroad, joining Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf Qarshi on a six-month deal.
Grace who has been with the senior national team since 2013 featured for Gokulam Kerala FC in the Hero Indian Women’s League but will now be heading to Uzbekistan for a short stint.
Our forward Dangmei Grace becomes the second Indian women footballer to sign a professional contract abroad. She will represent FC Nasaf next season 💯✈️— Gokulam Kerala FC (@GokulamKeralaFC) July 2, 2022
We wish her all the best! See you soon in Uzbekistan🔥👊 #GKFC #Malabarians #Thankyou pic.twitter.com/o1VWW7nNGF
“Like with every player, it was a dream to play abroad, a dream that is about to be realised now. I am very excited,” Grace told Hindustan Times in an interview.
“I have not spoken to the head coach yet but I am guessing Nasaf’s style will be different from what we had at GKFC. Fitting in would be my first priority,” she added.
Grace who hails from Manipur grew up idolising Indian football legend Bem Bem Devi and won the AIFF Emerging Player of the Year award in 2019.