If anyone was tempted to think Vladas Trakys was happy just to wind down his playing days when he returned home to join FK Ekranas, the 30-year-old striker should have caused them to think again.
Sights on title
In an itinerant career, Trakys has played for clubs in Iceland, Germany and, most recently, Azerbaijan but since returning to Lithuania he has already helped his employers collect one national title and now has his sights set on a second. "I wanted to prove I was still able to score goals and to win," he told uefa.com. "After my spell in Azerbaijan, I didn't show my best form at the beginning, but my goals at the end of the season helped Ekranas win the league."
'Goals are like bread'
Trakys, who reached the 13-goal mark with FBK Kaunas in the late 1990s, has already managed double figures with Ekranas this term. "Goals for a striker are like bread for normal people," he said. "Everyone wants to score more, but I really want my team to achieve our ambitions – that is more important than personal statistics." The 1.90m forward credits his Ekranas team-mates for his scoring form – "I'm not one of those forwards who can create goals, I need passes." – yet his efforts were noted by national coach José Couceiro who recalled him to the Lithuania squad for the August game against Luxembourg.
Though Ekranas lead the A Lyga, Trakys is mindful of the threat posed by fellow challengers FK Vëtra and FK Sûduva. He also notes that that expectation levels have risen. "Nobody expected us to win it last year," he said. "Now the situation is different – even second place will be considered a bad result. We didn't start the league well because we took part in the Commonwealth Cup in Moscow but now we feel much better."
If this year's Lithuanian championship has not featured any of FK Zalgiris, Kaunas and Atlantas – all absent for non-sporting reasons – Trakys maintained there were "no easy matches". He added: "FK Kruoja, for instance, have added several Zalgiris players to their squad and FK Tauras have also made big progress." As for his own future, his contract with Ekranas expires in December and there has been talk of a return abroad. For now, though, focus is fixed firmly on winning another league title. "It's too early to speak about that. All I want at the moment is to retain the championship. We have to defend our title."
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