India women’s national team player Soumya Guguloth and her Gokulam Kerala FC teammate Jyoti Chouhan have signed a one-year deal with Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb, becoming their first overseas recruits.
They were signed by the club after a successful trial in Croatia. Both won the Indian women’s league last season with Gokulam Kerala FC. Soumya and Jyoti are the first international players for the Dinamo Zagreb women’s soccer team.
“I am very excited to play abroad, this is a great opportunity for me. I never expected to play for a club like Dinamo. This will be useful for me, my family and my country. “I hope to give my best during the season. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me,” said Soumya.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I feel lucky to have obtained this platform. I will use this platform and give my 100% and work hard to learn more and perform better when I am in Zagreb, Croatia, representing Dinamo,” said Jyoti as she prepares to join teammate Gokulam for this season at Dinamo. Dinamo Zagreb is the most successful club in Croatia with 46 trophies won. His men’s team is in the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League group stage, alongside European powerhouses such as Chelsea and AC Milan.
ZNK Dinamo Zagreb, the women’s team, has similar ambitions and hopes that the two players from India can help them achieve their goals. “Step by step the puzzle was put together and in the seventh year of the club’s existence (since it became Dinamo Zagreb’s women’s team), we took another step. I think the girls who are coming will justify the confidence of the coach,” ZNK Dinamo club president Josipa Maslac Petricevic said.
Head coach Marija M. Damjanovic said the duo would drive the team forward. “I am satisfied. We are signing players who are needed to boost our team.” Croatia is among the best performing countries in the world and reached the final of the FIFA World Cup in 2018, where they lost to France. Soumya and Jyoti were among the 12 players who took part in the Women In Sports trials recently held in Kolkata.
The players were coached, tested and coached by coaches from five international clubs (Rangers WFC, Marbella FC, ZNK Dinamo Zagreb, Western Sydney Wanders FC and Melbourne Victory FC) in the hope of being selected and offered a professional contract. They also played two friendly matches with the local men’s teams in Kolkata.
While all the coaches were pleasantly surprised by the level, technique and experience of the two Indian women, ZNK Dinamo Zagreb quickly recalled Jyoti and Soumya to Croatia for their pre-season and extended trials.