Indian Goalkeeper Panthoi Chanu’s Australian Break

Indian Goalkeeper, Panthoi Chanu from Manipur’s Keirak village, is making history as the first Indian player to join the ranks of professional football in Australia.

After being signed by Metro United WFC, the 28-year-old becomes the first Indian player to be chosen to play professionally in Australia.

Indian Goalkeeper Panthoi Chanu’s Australian Break

A few years back, Panthoi Chanu was going through a difficult time. She spent forty-five days in bed after breaking her right shin and contemplating her future. However, the goalkeeper—who is from the town of Keirak in Manipur—refused to give up on her goals and persevered in getting back into the national squad. She is on the verge of becoming the first Indian football player to play professionally in Australia after two years.

The 28-year-old, who most recently represented India in matches against Hong Kong and Kosovo in Turkey, will play this season for Metro United WFC in the South Australian Women’s National Premier League. From Adelaide, she exclaimed, “I’m so excited to have the opportunity to play abroad and show what an Indian girl can do.”

Panthoi sustained the potentially fatal injury at an Indian team camp in Goa in 2021. She had a serious shin injury while participating in a practise match against the India U-17 boys team, forcing her to miss a significant amount of time.

Soon after, “my team left for an exposure tour, and I was all alone,” the woman claimed. “I would cry nonstop and was unable to even elevate my leg. The suffering was excruciating.

Even worse, she ended up breaking the same shin in January 2022, which prevented her from playing for a few more weeks. Some coaches told me I wouldn’t be able to play well again, but I won’t name them. They even reprimanded me and showed me no confidence,” she remarked.

Panthoi was able to restart her profession in spite of all the uncertainties. With the help of Women in Sports, which sent her to Spain to recuperate and practice, she continued to rise until she was offered a historic contract in Australia.

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Panthoi has always enjoyed having the war on her hands. In actuality, her initial interest in football came from the chance to persevere. She began playing football in school and played for the Women’s Football Academy in Odisha from 2008 to 2012. She then spent the following five years playing for Eastern Sporting Union. In 2014, she debuted with the senior team after being chosen for the India U-16 and U-19 squads.

“My family is all academics; none of them plays sports,” she remarked. But my parents gave me a lot of support. They would wait to bring me home after taking me to practice. I appreciated the perseverance and hard effort of the sport even though I wasn’t initially very aware of its tactical aspects.

I’m happy I discovered football since it gave me a platform to showcase my abilities. People experience fear while they play. I don’t mind blocking shots, from males or girls, and I’m not afraid. That fight is what I need.

Panthoi will play for Metro United WFC till the end of the season in September. He is an idol of India forward Bala Devi. During her first week in Australia, her coaches and teammates have provided her with excellent support. She’s now committed to giving it her all on the field.

The goalkeeper’s ambition is to play in leagues all around the world, so this is just the beginning.

“Having overcome many obstacles, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. However, I want to prove to everyone my abilities and I’m not done,” she remarked. “I want to encourage Indian boys and girls to participate in sports and show the world what we are capable of.” We’ll keep getting better, in my opinion, as more people see us, as has happened with the Indian team’s players.

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