THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Aditi Chauhan: This is what happiness feels like

Aditi Chauhan

Euphoria falls short to describe the motility. Her swagger-full tone, albeit elated, wavers as she recollects the moment. With an ingenious smile she pronounces what destiny and happiness feels like.

“I am excited and elated to be here. This is what happiness and the big stage feels like. The quality of Football is competitive here and I hope it helps me evolve as a Player.”

Determined and tenacious she might be on the pitch, but in this moment, Aditi Chauhan who has also represented Indian Women’s Senior National Team and recorded a stellar feat when she became the first Indian National to play for an English Club is emotional and to some extent, nervous.

The spindly Goalkeeper has been an integral part of the Indian Women’s Senior National Team setup having been part of the Gold medal winning Team in SAFF 2012 and has represented India in the AFC Qualifiers and in the U-19 age groups too. Aditi last represented the Indian Women’s National Team in Asian Games 2014, which were held in Incheon, South Korea.

The 23 year old wrote history on August 16, 2015 when she donned the Red of West Ham Ladies and played in the Hammer’s first Team against Coventry City, in the third tier of Women’s Football in England called as the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division.

Not only that, Aditi also featured as a second half substitute in West Ham’s 10-0 win over Shanklin LFC in their last pre-season friendly.

Albeit the West Ham Ladies tasted a 5-0 defeat against Coventry City with a debutant Aditi in goal, the Indian shot-stopper sternly believes that, “hard work along with preparation and a stable mind can open locked doors with an enticing future.”

Add to that, the fad; which saw ‘Aditi Chauhan’ trend nation-wide on Twitter and Facebook, morphing a Delhi girl into a National icon. You mention it to her and the spindly lass busts out in laughter.

“This is unexpected and although I feel special, I want to thank everybody for supporting me all the way. This is like huge response which I did not even expect in my wildest dreams.”

Acknowledging the fact that it was the All India Football Federation which lay the path to her success, Aditi says, “It is always a pleasure to represent India. And I want to thank the AIFF for helping me come on the International Stage by enabling me to participate in numerous International matches.”

Commenting on the Indian eve’s talent, First Team Manager of the West Ham Ladies Marc Nurse stated that, “After seeing Aditi train, it was clear to me that she has the ability to do really well here at West Ham United Ladies. She has impressed very well in the training sessions and a number of Players and Coaches have mentioned her fantastic attitude as well as her ability.”

“I have no doubt that she will adjust to this league and help us (West Ham Ladies) achieve success in the future”, Marc told AIFF Media.

With the tenacity of Indian Football receiving a massive fillip, Aditi agrees that Women’s Football in India is also on a surge and the ‘beautiful game’ will gradually envelope posterity of the country. “We should encourage young girls to play Football and get into the game, as it is always a heart-warming sight to see kids play and enjoy the ‘beautiful game.”

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)