Panthoi Chanu

Team India goalkeeper Elangbam Panthoi Chanu of Manipur is all set to fulfil her dream of playing football abroad as the 28-year-old is all set to make her debut in the South Australian Women’s National Premier League.

Her team Metro United Women’s FC, based in Adelaide, will play against FFSA NTC at 1.30 pm IST on April 6. They are in the 7th position in the table.

“I’m happy and excited. I have always wanted to play outside and prove myself. With my dream a reality, now my focus is to work hard, get used to their style of play and excel and stand up to the faith the club has in me. I hope I can do justice to this opportunity,” Panthoi Chanu said ahead of her debut.

As per the Metro United head coach Paul Morris, the Indian recruit will be their first-choice goalkeeper. Paul said they will use her experience and knowledge. Panthoi Chanu has a full-season contract that runs till September.

With this Panthoi become the first Indian footballer to play professionally in Australia.

She arrived in Adelaide on March 28. She said she had been welcomed by her new teammates and she just felt at home.

“Everything is perfect so far. I’m liking the atmosphere here,” Panthoi added.

Panthoi Chanu
Panthoi Chanu

How was she selected?

The Indian goalkeeper caught the eye of Adelaide United FC during a trial held in Kolkata in September 2023, attended by head coaches from prominent teams such as Westem United FC Melbourne, Perth SC, WFC Dinamo Zagreb, and Marbella FC. Following their recommendation, Panthoi Chanu found her way to Metro United WFC.

Her groundbreaking achievement follows in the footsteps of Jyoti Chauhan, Kiran Pisda, and MK Kashmina, making her the fourth player to secure a contract abroad out of the 27 participants in the Women in Sports Elite Football Trials, second edition, organized collaboratively by Women in Sports, the AMPL Foundation, and the Football Players’ Association of India.

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