Bozeman Blitzz FC has entered into a five-year affiliation with Surf Cup Sports, the club recently announced.
Blitzz FC, which includes players in and around the Gallatin Valley, will be rebranded as Montana Surf, however the recreational program will retain its name: Blitzz FC Recreation.
Montana Surf President Kristin Taylor noted the offer to join the premier soccer club was simply too good to pass up.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for our players who want to maybe push themselves and challenge themselves and make it to the next level,” she said. “But we also found Surf to be very flexible in understanding our culture out here.”
Over the past few years Blitzz FC has had other opportunities to affiliate with national and international organizations. But Taylor said the board didn’t see a substantial benefit to creating a partnership at those times.
Surf reached out to the club a couple of months ago, and then Taylor spoke with directors from other Surf clubs in California, Idaho, Salt Lake City and in Spokane, Wash. to gather more information.
“They all just reported that the benefits to their clubs have been almost over night,” she said. “It’s attracted the top players, it’s attracted more coaches. The value of the coaching manual that they provide has dramatically improved their level of play. They just all had rave reviews about their affiliation and the support of the Surf organization.”
Surf was very receptive to the rec program retaining the Blitzz name and continuing to be a low pressure fun experience for players. The goal, Taylor noted, is to maintain the same experience athletes and parents have enjoyed in the past.
But, for those athletes who desire to play the sport in college, Surf can help with creating that opportunity.
“It’s difficult in Montana for the most competitive kids,” Taylor said. “It’s a challenge to get them the exposure they need to make it into a college program, to really play at the highest level.”
Recognized as the premier club in the nation, Surf also hosts the biggest event — the Surf Cup — around Thanksgiving. Taylor noted between 500 and 600 college coaches attend the annual event.
“It’s really difficult to get into it,” Taylor noted. “Only 10 to 15 percent of the teams that apply are accepted into the tournament, so it’s really the top of the top.”
Montana Surf joins more than 25 other programs around the country in what is known as “Surf Nation”. While the Blitzz FC rec program will continue to remain low pressure, each age group (from age 8 through high school) in the academy and competitive programs will have the opportunity to play at the highest level against the toughest competition.
The Surf Soccer Club began as the San Diego Surf Soccer Club and is a member of the U.S. Development Academy and the Development Players League for boys and girls.
For more than four decades Surf has been at the forefront of helping to shape some of the best soccer players in the country. The club has provided college scholarships and produced more than 20 players for the United States’ national teams, and numerous professional players.
“It’s just something we’re thrilled to be able to be a part of and we were just really honored that they reached out to us as their Montana affiliate,” said Taylor.
Editor’s note: For more information about Blitzz FC’s affiliation with the Surf Soccer Club, see the club’s webpage at: https://www.blitzzfc.org/