Bagus football journey finally had a new start for achieving his dreams when Bagus was officially signed a contract with Utrecht FC.
After the first season, Bagus Kahfi again was called upon to join the second session of the #GarudaSelect Program . According to Dennis Wise' assessment, Bagus along with 4 other players Fajar Fathur Rahman, Brylian Aldama, Andre Oktaviansyah, and David Maulana had the potential to be further developed as professional football players. Dennis sees that what they had done in the first season still could not be used as an ideal benchmark for the development of a player's ability. That’why their potentials still need to be nurtured in a football culture like Europe where they could get more experiences.
In December 2019, Amiruddin Bagus Kahfi Al-Fikri left for England following the second batch of players who had already been there. With his experience he got in the first season, Bagus hoped to be able to train harder and to focus more on developing to become a better player. "For this second departure, I honestly feel more relaxed. I am also happy, but this time it is even more fun to have the opportunity to study there again. The second chance came and I really do not want to waste it. The football culture in Europe is very supportive so I could learn a lot and I was determined to study even harder, "said Bagus at that time.
It didn't take long for Bagus to adapt to Dennis Wise and Des Walker's team. In Dream Chasers Season 2 Episode 10 in the match between #GarudaSelect against Swindon Town, Bagus managed to show his capabilities and contribute positively to the #GarudaSelect Team by scoring goals. Not long after that, Bagus with the #GarudaSelect Team made a journey for the first time to Italy. There the #GarudaSelect had several friendly matches such as to play against youth teams of Juventus, Inter, Torino and Como. Their trip aimed to provide a different atmosphere and challenges for the team as an important part of their development training in this program. Their trip and matches in Italy can be watched in Dream Chasers Season 2 Episode 12: Benvenuto in Italy.
"I am very excited to go to Italy because this will be a new experience for me. Italian teams are known for their tactical abilities and well-organized defense and this will be a challenge for me as a striker," said Bagus.
In Italy Bagus again played well and managed to score goals, including one goal each against Torino, Juventus and Inter.
"Sorry I don't know his name, but the player number 20 (Bagus) is very outstanding and has quality," said one of the spectators at the match against Inter, Corryn Bonavita, who is the father of Inter U-17 and Italy U-17 national team vice-captain Simone Bonavita.
Bagus and the #GarudaSelect team then returned to England, where they played against the youth teams of Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, Reading and Bournemouth. Bagus again managed to impress, scoring 12 goals in five matches including four against QPR and a hat-trick against Preston North End.
Bagus also performed well against Reading and scored two goals in the early 20 minutes, but unfortunately in this match Bagus suffered an injury at his left ankle which forced him to undergo a surgery in England and he had to be treated for eight months.
Bagus football journey finally had a new start for achieving his dreams when Bagus was officially signed a contract with Utrecht FC for a duration of 18 months with a two-year extension option.
At Utrecht FC Bagus started by joining Utrecht's U-18 team. Bagus is now competing with dozens of other international players to get promotion to move up to Jong Utrecht's team and the first team.
Being able to join one of the big Dutch clubs, Bagus shares his experience about the importance of #GarudaSelect Program.
“Garuda Select is an important program for young football players to be able to pursue their dream of having a football career in Europe. If players have a strong desire, Garuda Select is one of the ways to get there. So for young Indonesian players, Garuda Select is a good path for a player to have a football career in Europe, "said Bagus.
"There are many valuable experiences that have allowed me to have a career in Europe. For example, I have never faced tough defenders while playing in Indonesia, defenders who have good physical qualities and intellectual abilities. It was a valuable experience for me on how to face different types of defenders. The coach really helped me to be ready before playing in Europe," said Bagus.
Bagus's story is an example of a player's long struggle to learn to be a better player and to pursue his dream of becoming a professional player in Europe. The dream of Bagus is the dream of millions of young Indonesians who want to be able to gain knowledge, to make history and to live up Indonesia's name to the world. Hopefully more and more Indonesian children will have the opportunity to study in the #GarudaSelect Program and follow Bagus Kahfi's footsteps.