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'Wanted to prove everyone wrong'- Kerala Blasters youngster Malavika on her journey

From Kolkata to Kerala, Malavika of the Kerala Blasters women's team speaks to The Bridge about her rise to the top.

Wanted to prove everyone wrong- Kerala Blasters youngster Malavika on her journey

Kerala Blasters women's team captain Malavika.


Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 2022-09-23T18:07:31+05:30

Kerala Blasters, in July, embarked on a new journey with the launch of their women's team. Blasters had a fixed vision of changing the lack of representation in the national team from Kerala and giving more opportunities to Indian players.

As things stand, the Yellow army are flying high in the Kerala Women's league without tasting defeat. A big factor in the quick rise of the team is their captain Malavika. The 19-year-old has racked up 10 goals from seven games.

Coming from a small town, the youngster has had humble beginnings which found her in Kolkata in her early days. Thereafter, she got an opportunity to ply her trade with the newest women's team in the block.

Time in Kolkata

Malavika was a vital part of the ASOS Rainbow athletic club and she fondly remembers the experience of playing in the Mecca of Indian Football. "Playing in Kolkata was an extraordinary experience, the people of Kolkata are crazy about football. I will always remember those days".

Malavika receiving an award in Kolkata

Kerala Blasters is Malavika's first professional club, but her decision to join them wasn't as quickly made as people would have thought. " Kerala Blasters is a dream for players, but initially I was reluctant to take up their offer because I wanted to continue in Kolkata. But the club never stopped pushing for my signature and fans played a big role in changing my mind. We have the biggest fan base in India".

Early days

Malavika hails from Bengalam, a small village in Kasargod, where it was hard to thrive on a dream of becoming a football player.

Malavika playing the sport she loves

"I grew up watching Sam Kerr and Alexia Putellas. Watching the elder kids around my home play football, I started to dream. But it wasn't easy to take up the sport as a profession. I started training under Nidhish sir and Preeti ma'am when I was 12 years old. They are my backbone," the winger said.

She recalls the struggles of pursuing the dream of becoming a footballer. " My mother was the only support system I had growing up. I lost my father at a very young age but my mother never gave up on me, she never failed to accompany me to camps or training. She is my everything. I was constantly told by my neighbors that I won't be able to do this, I'm not capable to become a football player. I wanted to prove everyone wrong and it was always fuel for my growth".

Joining the Yellow Army

"As a team, our goal is to qualify for IWL. I'm aware that we are a new team but there is no fun if the same team represents Kerala in IWL every year. We are working hard to reach our goal. Our coach is our strength, he always motivates us. What is more important is how the team performs, I won't be racking up numbers if they were not supplying the ball upfront. We still have a lot of aspects to improve," she said.

Kerala Blasters women's team

Malavika insists that the management of the club from Kerala is taking good care of the players. "We are like a family, there are girls from different states and the management arranged multiple team bonding sessions for us to get to know each other well. This is entirely a new experience for us".

"Manisha Kalyan is my favorite Indian Player, and it's my dream to represent India one day and I'm working hard for that". Malavika was a part of the U17 world cup squad. Kerala Blasters have a crucial set of fixtures awaiting them as they are eyeing the IWL qualification and Malavika is sharpening her weapons to take them to the promised land.

Message for fans

She also talked about the vociferous Manjappada with enthusiasm. " They are the best and we wouldn't have achieved anything without their support. Even if we are trailing their chants makes us want to overturn the situation for them, the fans are the most important part of the club".

The club captain concluded with a message to the fans. "I know that our fans will never stop supporting us. But I want them to be aware about their importance in our performance, they mean everything to us. Keep supporting us".

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