(Antigonish, NS) - Former StFX women's soccer star, Alix Bruch, has signed a professional contract with ZFK Spartak Subotica, the top women's professional side in Serbia and a perennial participant in the UEFA Women's Champion's League. The Calgary, Alta. native will depart Canada this week to join the team.
For Bruch, an AUS second team all-star with the 2016 conference champion X-Women, signing her first professional contract is a dream come true. "I couldn't let go of the game when I graduated in 2014, I just wasn't done," comments the midfielder. "So after a short tenure working in corporate Calgary, I went back to StFX with the goal of turning pro. I am excited, I'm relieved that I am going to a quality club, and I'm a little bit nervous too. I can't wait to get started."
Bruch played for the X-Women from 2010-14 and returned in 2016 for her fifth year of eligibility. X-Women head coach Graham Kennedy knew she wanted to turn pro and convinced her to play her final year of eligibility, "so I could develop further and get myself back in the shop window again," says Bruch.
According to Kennedy, Bruch has great potential to succeed as a professional. "First and foremost, Alix genuinely wants to be a pro and that is the first step. Secondly, she is a player who has the technical, physical and mental requirements to train every day in a demanding professional environment. She is very durable, very fit, very resilient, and will make a reliable pro."
Bruch is a two-time AUS second team all-star, having received the honor in both 2013 and 2016, and she was selected team most valuable player in 2016 when StFX won the AUS championship banner.
"In my opinion, Alix was the best player in the AUS in the second half of the season last year, and we won the championship, in large part, because of her," noted Kennedy. "She doesn't catch everyone's eye because she's a defensive midfielder who excels in things that don't make the stat sheets. Along with her stellar defending, every agent and coach who reviewed her video noted her receiving, turning and ball protection abilities. These things win games."
Bruch began her professional quest by playing in the United women's soccer league this summer with Calgary Foothills, a team filled with U SPORTS All-Canadians, NCAA standouts, and Canadian youth national team players. "It was an excellent group of players and a high-intensity training environment that kept me fit and challenged me to raise my game," explained Bruch.
Bruch departs Canada on Wednesday to join Spartak in time for pre-season games in Spain next week followed by Champions League matches later in the month.