Dunfermline Athletic

Vytas keen to follow in famous footsteps

Wednesday, 10th Mar 2021

"I heard that the fans are amazing and hope that the supporters and all fans soon can be in stadium and support us. I hope we can celebrate our victories together .....

When Vytas Gašpuitis made his first media appearance yesterday, the Lithuanian internationalist made no secret of the positive role former Par and fellow countryman, Andrius Skerla, had in his decision to sign for Dunfermline:

“I talked a lot to Andrius Skerla who played here and I understand that this is a perfect place for me to become a better player. He said a lot of good things about the club, about the city, about the fans, about everything and I liked what I heard.”

While Andrius had made a good impression on Vytas, he had not revealed the special admiration that Dunfermline fans have for the centre back who famously scored to put the Fifers 1-0 against Celtic in the 2004 Scottish Cup final. Vytas continued:-

“He didn’t say that but when I came to the club I understand that everybody loves him in this club, he was a big player here. In Lithuania he is very famous, a very good defender and he has played a lot of games for the national team. He was a very good player.”

Vytas hopes to make a similarly good impression at Dunfermline, he claimed that might not be easy but he will be trying hard:-

"I heard that the fans are amazing and hope that the supporters and all fans soon can be in stadium and support us. I hope we can celebrate our victories together and I’m very thankful for such a warm welcome from the fans, I will do my best for them!"

Since signing for Dunfermline on 4th February, Vytas Gašpuitis has served his time in isolation before joining his new team mates in training. The Lithuanian defender was on the bench for the Pars last match at Queen of the South and hopes to be able to impress during a match in the near future.

“I have been here one month and for me the isolation period was easy because I focused only on what I came here for, for football and getting in better shape and be fit, to be close to my best shape everyday. For me it was easy, everybody was very helpful, very friendly when I came here and the adaptation was easy.

“In the beginning for me training was very hard but every day and every week I feel much much better. Each day I feel stronger and I want to play, I think I am ready. I am confident about that and I just have to be 100% ready for the next game.”

Standing at 6ft 5” one might have thought in his home country Vytas Gašpuitis would have been attracted to the basketball court but the central defender, revealed:-

“I started my football training when I was seven years old. Basketball is number one sport in Lithuania but from the first day I wanted to be a football player.”

During his development Vytas’ hero was the AC Milan and Italy central defender known as ‘Il Capitano’, but he did confirm that he had also watched his fair share of Scottish football as well:-

“I like Italian football and my idol was Paulo Maldini, a very good player. I hope to play like him one day.

“In my opinion in Scotland football is more intensive. In Lithuania a lot of teams, a lot of players have a lot of time, they pass back many times but when I came here everybody plays every time forward. They want to be very aggressive and want to create dangerous attack every time. I like that there is a lot of fighting.

“I know a lot about football in Scotland because maybe ten years ago or less, a lot of Lithuanian players played in Scotland. In our country all television showed Scottish football, mostly Hearts games. There is not so much shown now. Maybe they will follow me!”

Vytas began his career with his hometown club Šiauliai, spending five years with the side that included a spell on loan with lower league club FK Venta Kuršėnai. He subsequently spent two years each with Atlantas Klaipeda and FK Panevėžys. He played in the Europa League Qualifiers in 2016 and 2017 with Atlantas.

Vytas made his international debut in a friendly against the Faroe Islands in Vilnius on 11th November 2020. He followed that up with a start against Belarus in the UEFA Nations League in Minsk four days later and then an appearance off the bench in Lithuania`s group match against Kazakhstan in Almaty.

Vytas does not know yet if he will be involved in the friendly and World Cup Qualifiers that Lithuania have coming up at the end of the month:-

“I think all players want to be in the best shape, to improve to what they want to achieve. Of course I want to be in the national team squad.”

So, as yet not recognisable to many in Dunfermline, Vytas has enjoyed being a tourist in the town centre and historic quarter with Pittencrieff Park a firm favourite, hoping that in the very near future he can be a favourite at East End Park:-

“When I came here I had to be in isolation for ten days. After that when I had a free day, maybe two weeks ago, I went to the city centre, I liked it and the park, I don’t know it’s name but it was very good.”

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