Haroldas Vaicekauskas is the most recent soccer player to join the ranks here at FirstPoint USA. Hailing from Lithuania, Haroldas began playing soccer at the age of 7. Haroldas instantly fell in love with the sport and was quickly winning medals, trophies and tournaments with his team – as well as being named captain. We recently caught up with the St Marks High School pupil to hear about his sporting background, the reasons why he wishes to pursue a soccer scholarship, and his plans for the future.
When Haroldas moved to Northern Ireland, he noticed a big jump in the skill level of the soccer players – he began to be challenged by the game again. The first team Haroldas joined in Northern Ireland was Warrenpoint FC. Throughout his time here, Haroldas noticed his skills in the game improving. Keen to continue improving his game, Haroldas moved to different clubs, playing for Newry FC and Mourne Athletics replacement team; and is due to begin playing for his local team again, as soon as the season starts.
Haroldas tells us that his favourite sporting memory to date, is from when he was 10 years old and playing soccer in Lithuania. Stating...
“I still remember as if it happened yesterday. It was in the heat of the match, 0-0 around the 15th minute when I finally got the ball and took a long range shot. It went right up to the top right of the goal; my friends on the side-lines and my teammates went wild. If that wasn’t good enough, as soon as the whistle blew and the other team gad the ball at the centre, I took it away immediately and scored a solo goal just as good quality as the other one! That felt good... I still remember people shouting my name.”
Haroldas tells us that he wishes to pursue a scholarship to the states, as he feels America is a place filled with opportunity. He is looking forward to the opportunity to experience a different way of life, and to show everyone what he has to offer. Stating, “it’s [America] beautiful, rich in history and an exciting place to go – not to mention the competitiveness of the sports... I suppose everyone would love to go there!”
We asked Haroldas what he is most looking forward to about being a student athlete in the US...
“The most exciting the is to see the difference in the level of soccer in the states, compared to the UK. I want to see the coaches and their coaching, the fitness levels, the techniques and strategies. I know it’s going to be different and that excites me. Another thing is the weather – I suppose that’s just one of the other big pluses!”
To find out a bit more about our clients, we often ask them to tell us about their top three sportspeople of all time; here’s what Haroldas had to say.
“Conor McGregor. He is an athlete like no other. He singlehandedly took over the UFC business and brought millions in revenue. With the work ethic of an animal; he can be in LA at a party, but yet he is still in the gym at 4am – that proves determination and a will to succeed. What I admire most about him, is that he isn’t afraid of any challenges and takes them on board, as he showed by fighting top athletes such as Jose Aldo and Mayweather.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovic. When he was a kid, he was poor, and didn’t have much else apart from football. What’s most admirable is that he came from nothing and became a star. He once said to a teacher when he was kicked out of class, “I will come back when I am a star.”, and so he did. It shows confidence and that he believed in himself, which is very important if you want to succeed.
“Ruta Meilutyte. She represented Lithuania at swimming in the 2012 Olympics. She won a gold medal in the Women’s 100m breaststroke. It may not seem like much to others, but to Lithuanians this was a blast as we are such a small country. Everyone knew about her, and everyone was talking about her. The whole country was proud. I suppose she is just an inspiration to me, because if I make it at all, I know people will be talking about me the exact same way; and who wouldn’t want to make their country proud?”
Finally, we asked Haroldas where he sees himself being in 10 years time. He states that he would love to be a professional soccer player, and still believes that this could happen. However, if this does not happen, Haroldas hopes to still be working with soccer, perhaps as a coach or to have a business that involves soccer in one way or another.
We’d like to thank Haroldas for getting in touch, and we wish him the best of luck throughout the scholarship process. We will keep you updated on Haroldas’ progress through our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.