Aug 08, 2020

Soccer club faces many obstacles in first year

The Fresno State soccer club was founded in 2006. Founder and president Sunny Bal started a men’s club team in fall 2007 that is associated with the soccer club. Fresno State used to support a NCAA men’s soccer team on campus before budget cuts disbanded the team.
Courtesy of soccer club

The Fresno State soccer club is doing everything it can to find a place for itself.

The club started out in 2006 as a social club consisting of students who just enjoyed talking about soccer and watching games in The Bucket together.

Now the club has added a men’s club soccer team to the agenda.

The team started last fall with Sunny Bal, the founder and president of the soccer club.

He grew up in London and wanted bring that soccer spirit to campus.

Bal is now the coach of the club team and said it has been a lot of work putting it all together.

“Everything has just kind of fallen into place,” Bal said. “I’ve had to sacrifice a lot, but it’s worth it.”

The team currently has 16 regular players who meet for practices on Tuesday and Thursday nights and play indoor soccer together whenever possible.

They do not get to practice on campus because the demand for the fields means it is nearly impossible for them to get access.

Bal said they usually practice on a field out by Highway 99.

This makes it difficult for all the players to get to practice.

The team has run into many obstacles over the past year.

They have no uniforms and only received equipment from the university four weeks ago.

“It’s been really tough getting cooperation from the school, so we just have to do everything ourselves,” Bal said.

He knows his club is not the only one with similar problems, but he will keep getting his team everything he can.

His current goal is to get jerseys for the players.

Their season doesn’t start until September, so he plans on having fundraisers with the club to raise money for the team uniforms.

For example, Bal and the soccer club are hosting a dance party downtown this Wednesday to help raise money for the team.

Last season, the team had a record of 2-3-2, but Bal said he is anticipating a much better record this year.

“We have a great group of guys right now,” Bal said. “They all have a lot of talent and skill level has really stepped up.”

The team hosted no games last year because of field space, but they have to hold home games this season.

Bal is worried about getting field space on campus for these games.

“If we can’t play on campus, it will cost a lot to have the games on other fields. We will try to host as many games as we can this year either way though,” Bal said.

Anyone is welcome to join the club and come out to practices, but to be on the team you have to go through tryouts.

Like practice, the tryouts are held off campus. Bal said it is hard now to find people who can fit the practices into their fall schedule because they have already signed up for classes.

“We really just have fun together, we’re like brothers,” Bal said. “Everyone brings something to the team.”

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