San Diego Surf SC Player Returns from Stint on Kazakhstani’s Women National Team
Youth Soccer News: Playing soccer since she was six years old, Batya Bagully is a striker on the Kazakhstani women’s national soccer team who also plays for San Diego Surf in San Diego California. Bagully was called up to the Kazakhstan Women’s National team while they trained for two World Cup Qualifiers.
San Diego Surf SC’s youth soccer player Batya Bagully has been playing soccer since she can remember. While Bagully may be new to Surf SC, this is her second season wearing the Surf crest, she embodies the qualities the club highly covets. Bagully is focused, determined and committed to make the most of her talents and opportunities — and she has just returned from the Republic of Kazakhstan where she was rostered on the country’s Women’s National team and their U19 National Team.
While the “official” language may be Russian, it is the language of soccer that unifies these Kazakhstan’s teams.
Returning recently from Asia, where she trained and played for five weeks, Bagully earned her 16th cap playing with Kazakhstan U19s against Kyrgyzstan in a friendly.
Bagully was called up to train with the national women’s team in Moscow for two weeks as they prepared to play Russia in a World Cup Qualifier. Bagully was rostered when Kazakhstan’s Women’s team took on England in a friendly though she has yet to earn her senior cap.
While Bagully did not see the field in the Kazakhstan vs England match she says, “It’s always an honor to represent your country. My favorite part is living and training with my national team.”
“Training and playing in large stadiums is a great experience,” said Bagully. “I like the training which is held twice a day for a total of about 4 hours. We also attend meetings and watch a lot of game film.”
Bagully says the hardest part about having to train and play matches in Europe several times a year is trying to keep up with school, and doing homework in hotels and in airport lounges.
While this is a dream come true in many ways, Bagully does recognize that there are times when it is tough to be away from home.
“It is tough living in hotels all the time, but it is great having my teammates there to hang out with,” said Bagully is passionate about the beautiful game.
When asked what does she love most about the game, Bagully proudly said, “Everything, but being part of a team is what it’s all about.”
Bagully does admit there are a few very cool benefits playing for her country’s national team:
- Playing in big stadiums with large crowds. There were probably 10,000 fans watching the match against England.
- There are police escorts from the airports and the hotels are usually very nice.
- The pitch is always perfect and the refs are very professional.
Surf SC youth soccer coach Louis Hunt coached Bagully last season and said, “Batya is a unique player who the girls loved having on the team.”
“Bagully is always very committed in games, very coachable and is great for team chemistry,” said Hunt.
“Her international experience and soccer journey is a great story,” said Hunt. “Bagully is a unique player who the girls loved having on the team.”
“The coaches at Surf SC are very good and I have really enjoyed playing for Louis this past season and now am looking forward to working with Danny Tonks,” said Bagully.
“Batya Bagully has a great personality to work with and is a fantastic teammate,” said Tonks who is coaching her this season. “We’re all really proud of her achievements for her national team and look forward to seeing her use that experience this season again at Surf.”
What does the future hold for Bagully? She is committed to the University of Hawaii next year on scholarship to play soccer and wants to study kinesiology.
“After College, I want to head to Europe to play professional football — we don’t dare call it soccer in Europe,” said Bagully. “After that, I would like to become a trainer for a professional sports team, preferably a football team in Europe, because I love the game so much. I think it would be a great job to travel around with a Premier league team and help players when they become injured.”
In addition, Bagully has just received another call-up to the Kazakhstan U19 qualifiers in Sweden for the first week of October.
“Batya Bagully is a great player who has taken everything that’s come to her in her stride,” said Mark Spooner, Surf SC Director of Girls DA. “It’s fantastic to see her come so far and to watch her journey into international soccer. The experiences she is getting do not come around too often and we look forward to her sharing those experiences and bringing things back to us and her teammates here in San Diego.”
What advice does this rising star want to share with others?
My trainers really help me build my confidence and fine tune parts of my game.
“By the time you get to the U18/19 level in youth soccer, most players have had a dozen coaches in their life, and not all of them are going to be good for development,” said Bagully. “I have learned to stick with coaches that believe in developing their players and making them better. I think everyone should find a coach that they connect with and do extra work with that coach.”