Coming from a humble background, the India international has reason to the very top echelons of the national game.
Kamala Devi, the newly crowned 2017 AIFF Woman Player of the Year, turned a bit emotional while sharing bits and pieces from her childhood days.
At the same time, she added prior to the team’s departure for COTIF Cup, she maintained that it’s time for her to gauge the team’s worth in outside of the sub-continent.
“We have proven our worth in the sub-continent and now it’s time to gauge ourselves in an alien atmosphere against completely unknown opponents. The team is feeling a positive vibe at this moment and we have to execute the plans on the pitch to get the favourable results,” she uttered in reference to the COTIF Cup.
“I was always the odd one out from the girls’ gang who were not quite interested in the outfield sports. I felt left out and then I had to push myself playing alongside the boys in my village,” Kamala said in one go.
“I did not just play Football. I used to play Cricket, Sepak Takraw. But Football had its own charm and by God’s grace, I’m here along with other girls donning the National jersey today,” he eyes turned moist.
“I stay with my Mausi (maternal aunt) who has endured a lot for me. I want to dedicate this AIFF award to her along with my teammates and coaching staff.”
“I would like to thank two persons who had a huge contribution to my career. Our local coach Viren Sir and Manglemba, an elder brother who used to stay in our neighbourhood took me to NIPC (North Imphal Sporting Association) where I started playing the game seriously and others also started to take a notice to my game,” Kamala mentioned.
The 26-year-old Manipuri striker is quite familiar with winning laurels for his individual brilliance inside the opponent box. Besides being one of the very few girls who had been part of the winning team in three SAFF Championships (2010, 2012 and 2014), she was bestowed with the ‘Best Player of the Final’ award in the 2012 edition.
She hogged the limelight once again in the 2016 South Asian Games when she finished the scorer’s list atop with five goals including a brace in the final against Nepal which helped her team win the Gold medal.