05/06/2015

FACTFILE: Giedrius Arlauskis

Position: Goalkeeper

Date of Birth: December 1, 1987

Place of Birth: Telsiai, Lithuania 

Senior Career: Siauliai 2005 – 2007 (33 appearances), Unirea Urziceni 2008 – 2010 (55 appearances), Rubin Kazan 2010 – 2014 (7 appearances), Steaua Bucharest 2014 – 2015 (25 appearances). 

International Career: Lithuania (18 appearances from 2008) 

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WATFORD’s newest Premier League recruit arrives at Vicarage Road with impressive European pedigree, having so far enjoyed a career across three top European league.

The 'keeper has won the Romanian league twice - with Unirea Urziceni and Steaua Bucharest respectively, as well as the Romanian League domestic double with Steaua, who were crowned champions for a record 26th time in the 2014/15 season.

Arlauskis was part of the Unirea Urziceni side who qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stages in the 2009/10 season. The Romanian side were pitted against Sevilla, Rangers and Stuttgart. 

The ‘Orns most recent arrival played 450 minutes – all five of the side’s group games in that year. However, a record of a win, two draws and two defeats meant they did not progress in the competition.

More recently, he was part of the Steaua Bucharest side that were defeated in the final qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League last season, as his side lost on penalties to Bulgarian side Ludogorets – who would go on to face Liverpool, Real Madrid and FC Basel in the group stages last year. 

You may remember the game for the heroics of Ludogrets defender Cosmin Moti, who saved two Steaua spot kicks after Vladislav Stoyanov's sending off in extra time.  

Internationally, Arlauskis was at Wembley in March where the keeper played the entire 90 minutes of Lithuania’s 4-0 loss to England. 

The keeper's international debut came back in 2010, where the side lost 4-0 away to Ukraine in a friendly.

His competitive debut was just a month later, when Arlauskis kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Latvia in the Baltic Cup.

In 2013, a trio of matches in Lithuania's qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil followed, before the keeper played a further part in their bid to qualify for the 2016 European Championships in France. 

Did you know…

•         Arlauskis was part of the Unirea Urziceni side that was knocked of the Europa League by Liverpool in 2010 – the keeper played both matches. The first was a 1-0 loss at Anfield, before the Romanian side lost the second leg 3-1 to be eliminated from the competition.

•         Arlauskis kept 12 clean sheets in his 25 league appearances for Steaua Bucharest in the 2014/15 season.

•         Arlauskis’ latest spell in European competition came in last season’s Europa League, where the Lithuanian played all six of Steaua Bucharest’s group matches

First Team 02/06/2015

Gomes on Trust | “Always A Pleasure”

WATFORD goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes believes the work the club does in conjunction with the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust is something to be admired.

The former Tottenham Hotspur 'keeper made 44 appearances in the Golden Boys’ promotion winning campaign last term, and was eager to highlight the good work done by the Trust after winning the Community Ambassador award at the club's End Of Season Awards Dinner.

“To win an award like this one is a great achievement for me,” he told watfordfc.com.

“When I go to events involving the Community Trust it is always a pleasure, because this club has really close relations with the people off the pitch.

“I’ve played at a number of different clubs, but the work Watford do with the community and the fans is amazing.”

Having been established in April 2004, the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust has gone from strength to strength, and offers a diverse range of activities.

Watford’s work in the community is widely renowned, and Gomes admitted that events laid on by the Trust are something he fully embraces.

“I do the events to get closer to the people and the fans and to make them happy, so it was great for them and for me, and it’s something fantastic that the club do as well,” he said.

“I believe it’s so important because the community are the ones who make the football club, and not just solely the players. 

“For the players, they can sometimes come and go. But the fans are the ones who will always be here and support the team. The relationship is so important, and that’s why I feel so strongly about the work that the Community Trust does.” 

Indeed, the keeper was a frequent visitor to activity days run by the club over the course of the season, and commented that events can provide a welcome distraction from the rigours that the domestic season can bring.

“Sometimes it’s just nice to take a break away from the pitch and relax. I had such a good time visiting all the kids in their shirts.

“I’ve been at Tottenham, and PSV – both fantastic clubs but here I’ve had eight or nine community appearances throughout the season, and I’ve really enjoyed that.”

It was a fantastic 2014/15 season for Gomes and the Hornets, which culminated in promotion to the Premier League, their first stint in England’s top flight since 2007.

“It’s been very special all round really, we have to enjoy these moments. The club has everything in place to stay in the Premier League for a long time, and so now we can enjoy it with the fans.”