BH CORRESPONDENT, New Delhi: Indian football personality Bala Devi is now playing for Scottish Women’s League team Rangers FC. The national team striker has started in two matches for the Scottish club and feels she needs to “make the most of the opportunity and push herself harder.”
In her first interview after making her debut, Bala talks about being the only Asian player on the club’s roster, the change of playing conditions and her life in general in Scotland.
Some excerpts from the interview:
You have started in both the matches for Rangers FC. What is the experience like?
It has been a great experience. The first two Cup matches were postponed due to bad weather. I got to start in the next two which we won. It’s been such a sweet beginning. Playing club football at this level is a dream come true for me – the tempo is much higher. The weather has been cold and windy. But a professional footballer needs to cope with all that.
How have your teammates reacted?
Their warmth made it easier for me to settle down. They have been extremely supportive and friendly. Despite six of us being from different nationalities, I am the only one from Asia. They are curious about India and our culture.
How much of your confidence has been boosted?
From a player’s perspective, every match adds to your confidence. Here, we are speaking about matches in the Scottish Women’s League. Such matches add immense value in your quest to become complete as a player. It gives you confidence that you are as good as a player you thought yourself to be and that you can do better. It’s not everyone who is able to push oneself this far. It motivates me to further improve.
What is special about the training sessions?
The training sessions are very intense. I can feel myself improving all the time. The level of training and support structure at the club is pushing me to further evaluate myself as a player. This is an opportunity which I have to grab and make the most of, at any cost.
The facilities are quite amazing, including gymnasium and rehabilitation centre. Getting match time after all the hard work in training sessions adds to your satisfaction, and makes you hungrier for more.
Where are you staying? Are you cooking your own food?
I stay with some other international players in Glasgow. The surroundings are very picturesque, and it takes around 25 minutes to drive to our training. As I have settled down by now, I am cooking my own food, while the pre and post training meals are at the club cafeteria. It’s a footballer’s diet and adjusting to it hasn’t been much of a problem as that has our staple diet during the sessions with the national team.