LA Galaxy San Diego girls 2000 player, Batya Bagully, was called up for the second time to play for the Kazakhstan national team for the UEFA U17 European Qualifier (group 6) October 10-15 at the newly opened Oriam indoor stadium pitch in Edinburgh, Scotland. Kazakhstan had three matches in this round, France, Scotland, and Croatia. Batya started all three matches and played a total of 213 minutes.
The first match was against the dominating French team that included a couple of professional players on roster. The second match was against Scotland to a sold out crowd, and the final match was against the more evenly matched Croatia team. The end results were not in Kazakhstan’s favor, and the mood of the team was of disappointment, but as an overall experience, this was an opportunity for the Kazakhstan girls to play head to head against some of the more competitive national teams in Europe, and one of the top teams in the world in France, who are highly favored to give Germany a run for their money in the final rounds.
“It is always an honor getting to play for my national team and traveling with them,” commented a very proud Batya. “I was excited to get the start for all three matches, but stepping on the field against France was somewhat surreal. The level of play and the pace of the games in Europe is extremely high and even just getting my touches in and the occasional shot takes a lot of fighting and work against a top team like France, because they make no mistakes.
Batya continued, “Scotland is a very physical team and you end up with plenty of bruises when you play them. Croatia was a team I think we could have beaten if we had fewer fouls against us. I think we had some good shots on them and just got unlucky. The Oraim pitch is the best turf pitch I have ever seen, and the locker rooms are the same as a professional team would have. The UEFA officials, Reps and handlers were always great to us and treated us like professionals. I look forward to the next call up to play with my national team and compete at this level.”
UEFA tournament website: