Indian footballer Aditi Chauhan has signed a deal with English Premier League (EPL) club West Ham United's ladies team, b ecoming the first player from the national women’s team to play competitively in England, reported Hindustan Times .
The club said that Chauhan, who has represented the under-19 Indian national women's team at AFC Qualifiers in Malaysia, was a late addition to their squad during pre-season.
Chauhan is, however, not the first woman of Indian origin to have played for an English club. Delhi-born Tanvie Hans, a midfielder, earlier played for the Tottenham Hotspur reserve team before joining Fulham Foundation FC. Tanvie, who moved to England for higher studies, is now a British citizen and, hence, ineligible to play for the Indian team, according to an HT report .With Chauhan joining West Ham, India now has two national team goalkeepers plying their trade in Europe. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, a 23-year-old male, who stands a little over 6 feet 5 inches, plays for Stabaek FC in Norway.
An Indiatimes reports mentioned that Chauhan's football journey started during her school life in Delhi when her coach asked her to participate in an under-19 team trials. She was appreciated for her contribution to India winning the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) women's cup in 2013.
West Ham Ladies are currently in the Football Association's (FA) Women's Premier League Southern Division, a league in the third level in the women's football structure in England.
They took to Twitter to appreciate Chauhan:
Indian women's team goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan signs with West Ham Ladies! Great news guys! Cheers and Jai Hind! http://t.co/YKxxeAg0wD— Indian Football Team (@BlueTigersIndia) August 17, 2015
Thank you all for the overwhelming response and wishes. I will work hard to make this opportunity count @westhamladies— Aditi Chauhan (@aditi03chauhan) August 17, 2015
"I am excited about the league. I am looking forward to playing for West Ham," said Chauhan in the Youtube channel of West Ham United Ladies FC.