Star footballer Manisha Kalyan is confident and geared up for her debut stint in the UEFA Champions League. She will become the first Indian female footballer to feature in the European Tournament when she plays for the Cyprus champions Apollon Ladies. Her team will be playing against Latvia’s Riga FS in round 1 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifying match slated to take place on 18 August.
If Apollon manages to secure a victory in the qualifying fixture, they will meet the winners of Switzerland’s FC Zurich and Faroe Island’s Klaksvik Kvinnur. Kalyan’s now-former club Gokulam Kerala took to Twitter to share the same development and wished her the best for future endeavors.
With this announcement, the 20-year-old will become the second player from Gokulum Kerala FC to feature in an overseas tournament, after Dangmei Grace, who signed an agreement with Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf last month.
‘I’m prepared to give my 100 percent’: Manisha Kalyan
Kalyan expressed her excitement to play in a coveted European tournament and said that she is prepared to give 100 per cent to help the Club in doing well this season. She hopes to inspire young girls to take up the sport and grow in their careers. The youngster already has joined the Apollon team and attended three practice sessions.
“Competitions like the Champions League are what every player would have dreamt of playing, and just the thought of getting a chance to play there is thrilling. From my end, I’m prepared to give my 100 percent to play the Champions League and help my team do well,” said Manisha.
“I hope that I can inspire some of the younger girls to work harder and make their own moves in the future as well.”
“The playing style is a little different here. It will take a little time to adapt, but I am really enjoying the intensity of training here,” she added.
Kalyan captained the Indian U-17 team, which took part in the BRICS Football Cup in 2018. In the 2019/20 edition of Indian Women’s League (IWL), she won the Emerging Player of the Tournament after helping Gokulum Kerala to win the title.