Players Abroad: Omolyn Davis takes her game to Kazakhstan

by Tiffany Weimer

Through Twitter, I came across Omolyn Davis’ account with a Tweet saying she was playing in Kazakhstan. With not much known about women’s soccer in the country and she likely being one of the first North Americans to play there, I had to learn more. Check out my interview with the Jamaican international previously of George Mason University as well as magicJack SC of WPS, and Energiya Voronezh of Russia.

1. What team do you currently play for?
I play for SSHVSM-Kairat Almaty. We are the current champions of Kazakhstan.  We will play in the UEFA Champions League preliminary round for 2013-2014. Our team also played in a Super Cup of Kazakhstan that took place March 24th 2013. This Super Cup is huge as it is basically the 2012  league champions vs the cup winners. We unfortunately lost that game 2-1 and I was not apart of that because at that time I was stuck in Turkey with visa issues.
2. How did the opportunity become available to you?
The opportunity came by through my agent. I did hear about the new league in the US but the restrictions it had with international players made me look towards Europe.
3. What has your road been like up until this point? I know you played in WPS and in Russia. Can you talk about those experiences a little?

The road has been a little rocky at the start, with a few hiccups with visa delays and transfer delays. We have not played any games yet, most of my time spent has been in Turkey. We were in Turkey for two weeks from February 24-March 10. Then we went back to Turkey on April 7-April 18. Our first game is April 25th.

As for different experience, I haven’t had much thus yet to compare between WPS and Russia and Kazakhstan.  Also, remember I had contract issues in Russia so I did not have a good experience there.

4. What are the playing conditions like there? Living situations?

Playing conditions are fair here in Kazakhstan.  We play on our home turf field with a full size track located around. It holds approximately 3,000 people.

Living conditions are good, we are staying at a what looks to be a sports complex. It has coaches offices, meeting rooms, doctors office (which is really good if you need a doctor during the day), rooms, small gym, small kitchen and chill area, and bathrooms.

At the base, five players from the team reside at the complex: one from Cameroon, one from Uzbekistan, two from Kazakhstan and me. I had the choice for an apartment but I chose to be more conservative since things are more accessible here. The base is also occupied by some wrestling players (women). Shops are in walking distance, including a small mall. Which is very convenient and makes me feel independent.

5. Could you explain what it’s like to be a foreigner in Kazakhstan?
Being a foreigner here is very similar to when I was in Russia. The girls are very, very welcoming and nice. The coach is a woman and she is very nice as well. As for the people, not all are very friendly,  but a few are very polite and will say hello.

6. What do you hope to gain from this season/year while you’re there?
I hope to win a championship here and also get past the preliminary round in Champions League. I also wish to learn different types of soccer and am also hoping my Russian will get better by the end of the year.

Follow Davis on her journey in Kazakhstan through her Twitter page