Aditi Chauhan: Indian goalkeeper in talks with USA, UK clubs after West Ham heartbreak

The 23-year-old made history by becoming the first woman from the Indian national team to play in the English League last year.

Aditi Chauhan: Indian goalkeeper in talks with USA, UK clubs after West Ham heartbreak
Photo Courtesy: Twitter (Aditi Chauhan)

Shillong: The first Indian woman to play football in England, Aditi Chauhan's stint at the West Ham might have come to an abrupt end due to visa issues but the 23-year-old wants to look ahead, hoping to ink deals with professional clubs either in USA or UK.

"It was very disappointing for me to return without no fault of mine but that's the way it is. I want to look ahead and it's no point talking about the past.

"I'm in talks with some clubs in USA and UK, hopefully I will get somewhere soon," the Indian goalkeeper told PTI on the sidelines of 12th South Asian Games here without divulging further.

Aditi, however, still calls herself West Ham ladies goalkeeper' as she sports The Hammers logo on her Twitter profile, months after she had to return because of visa problem.

"I have enjoyed my time there and got starts in matches too. Both the club officials and fans accepted me and were very warm and welcoming," she recalled.

The 23-year-old made history by becoming the first woman from the Indian national team to play in the English League last year but since the Delhi girl was on a student visa she could not continue in the top two tiers of women's football.

Pursuing Master's degree in sports management from Loughborough University, Aditi had signed a one-year deal for the third division team of West Ham United Ladies.

The team had, in fact, planned to sponsor her for a work visa, but she could not as West Ham are in the third tier and classed as semi-professional.

"The FA rules do not allow me to play for a first or a second division club on a student visa. I can't help but that's the way it is."

Representing clubs of Asian countries is not Aditi's goal.

"My first preference is some countries whose leagues are rated higher than us. I'm positive that something will come up soon."

But at present, she's focussed on winning the gold medal for India at the SA Games.

"It's always an honour to play for your country. I am focused on winning the SAG gold here," she signed off.

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