London, Aug 17 (IANS) English football club West Ham United’s ladies team has signed Indian international goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan.
Aditi, the club said the goalkeeper was a late addition to its squad during pre-season. She becomes the first Indian woman footballer to have been signed by a top English club.
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.
West Ham’s senior men’s team is a regular at England’s top-flight football, the English Premier League (EPL).
“Great news for Indian football! West Ham have signed Indian int’l goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan for their ladies team,” West Ham Ladies tweeted on Sunday.
Aditi represented India at the women’s football competition at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
“CHAUHAN: Plenty of love on Twitter today for our new Indian international goalkeeper @aditi03chauhan from back home in India! Hi all! #COY,” The English club said on Twitter on Monday.
Aditi also expressed her delight at the opportunity. She has attended Loughborough University and represented its football team prior to her association with West Ham.
“Thank you all for the overwhelming response and wishes. I will work hard to make this opportunity count @westhamladies,” she tweeted on Monday.
“There is no other way but to improve from here. We need to build ourselves back, get together and move forward,” she also told the club’s YouTube channel.
“It’s a step up for me after playing for Loughborough,” she added.
Aditi becomes the third Indian passport holder to join a British football club after Mohammed Salim played for Scottish giants Celtic FC in 1936 and Bhaichung Bhaichung Bhutia featured for Bury FC from 1999 till 2002.