The striker is the all-time highest scorer for the nation’s women’s team.
Gokulam Kerala have completed the signing of Nepali striker Sabitra Bhandari on a season-long deal. Bhandari, 26, returns to the club for a second spell having top-scored for them in the title-winning season of IWL 2019-20. She has also won the Indian Women’s League (IWL) with Sethu FC. In her two seasons in the IWL, Bhandari scored a total of 34 goals, including a season highest of 19 goals in 2019-20.
After leaving Gokulam Kerala FC in 2022, she rejoined AFC Club in her native country. It is here that she suffered a career-threatening Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury on her right knee in February, 2021. The player was taken to Qatar for treatment in June. The surgery took place on 15th July. In February 2022, she came back to Nepal after all the necessary treatments.
The Malabarians announced her signing on July 17 (Sunday). “Let’s welcome back our champion striker Sabitra Bhandari. The Nepalese striker has signed a season-long deal with Malabarians.”
About The Player
Sabitra Bhandari is a regular in the Nepal national team. Her 38 goals for the national side is an all-time record for the Nepal women’s team. After a five-year stint with APF Club in Nepal, the player shifted her attention to India. In 2019, she joined Sethu FC and scored 15 times in seven appearances for the side.
The following year, Gokulam Kerala signed the striker. The 26-year-old worked wonders there as well. Eventually, she went on to become the top-scorer of the Indian Women’s League 2019-20 with 19 goals to her name. The club also clinched their first-ever IWL accolade that year.
Gokulam Kerala’s Women’s Team
The women’s team of Gokulam Kerala will be seeing a lot of changes this summer. Recently, Jyoti Chauhan and Soumya Guguloth left the club after receiving an opportunity to appear for trials at Dinamo Zagreb. Prior to that, Dangmei Grace signed for Uzbekistan-based side, FC Nasaf.
Even Manisha Kalyan, whose contract ended with Gokulam Kerala this year, joined Apollon Ladies FC. Notably, Kalyan is the only Asian player in the Apollon Ladies camp.
Another Gokulam Kerala star Elshaddai Acheampong, who finished as the highest scorer in this season’s IWL with 22 goals, has also singed for Apollon Ladies. The Ghanaian striker joins GKFC teammate Manisha at the Cyprus club.
Gokulam Kerala have won the Indian Women’s League title for two successive seasons (2020/21 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak). In this recently concluded season, the side showed sheer dominance. They won each of their 11 matches in the league and scored 66 goals. Meanwhile, they conceded only four!
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