Brishti Bagchi, the first Indian female footballer to be invited to train for a contract with the world’s top football league, the Spanish La Liga!
Football is a relatively new entrant to the Indian sports fan’s radar, and women’s football even more so. It’s heartening then, when a young Indian footballer gets picked to train for a possible contract with the Spanish La Liga.
Journey of Brishti Bagchi :
Brishti is born and brought up in Bengaluru. Her father is a mathematician and mother is a statistician.
Brishti’s journey in football started when she was about 7 years old. Brishti played football in school and also participated in numerous coaching camps outside school.
At the age of 9, she was officially selected to play for the Sports Authority of India (SAI) girl’s team under Chitra Gangadharan. Soon after, Brishti Bagchi also had the chance to represent the state team of Karnataka, at Senior and Junior nationals (as captain).
As soon as she finished school in 2012, Brishti Bagchi got invited for trials in the USA with the Oklahoma City University Team. She was in a dilemma between going to the Indian camp versus being a student athlete in the US.
Brishti chose the later because it enabled her to have the opportunity to keep learning the game while earning a degree in Kinesiology. She was soon on the Oklahoma City Women’s soccer team, playing in the NAIA (National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics) league as a student athlete.
Playing for different universities :
While she was in the USA, Brishti played on two different university teams (Oklahoma City University & North Texas University club) and one semi-pro team (Dallas City Fc – B in the Women’s Premier Soccer League).
Brishti graduated in May 2018 with a degree in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas with 1.5 years of UG research experience.
La Liga Spanish League :
The 25-year-old soccer player has now been offered an opportunity to train in professional football in Spain. If all goes well, she will be the first Indian woman to play in the Division 1 La Liga (Spanish League).
From June, she is scheduled to begin training at an academy in Madrid and playing with reserve teams, provided she can muster enough funds. If she performs well, she stands to bag a contract to play club football professionally.
The major stumbling block remains finances as Brishti is not in a position to afford forcing her to urn to crowd-funding.
Current team – Brishti Bagchi:
Brishti is playing for Bangalore United FC in the ongoing Indian Women’s League in Ludhiana.
She has played with Dallas City FC B in the Women’s Premier Soccer League in the United States.
Message to youngsters :
She has a message for young girls and their parents too: “They should always try to find out what their kids love doing and support them in that. Children should have faith in themselves. Especially when things start to fall apart, believe in your inner self and get going. It is a test of your determination as to how far you can go doing what you love.”
Brishti has started a fundraising campaign on Milaap where she has detailed her ambitions and struggles. She is hoping for a corporate sponsor.
Dreams of Brishti Bagchi :
Brishti is keep to help in popularizing football among youngsters. According to her, “Women’s football in India definitely has gone up. I think there is more hope bur there needs to be more support. I know they are working on it and hopefully it will happen in the future.”