Defender Samantha Rosette, who joined Šiauliai “Gintra” team before this season, started the career stage in Lithuania with a solid game. The American, who moved from Kazakhstan’s champions “BIIK Kazygurt” to Šiauliai, demonstrates not only reliability and stability in the defense, but is also one of the most productive players in the team with 4 goals in seven A-league rounds.
After the first round of championship, amber received its debut personal evaluation while competing in Lithuania. Rosette was named the team’s best Spark Energy women’s first League A lap player. As the footballer herself says, this nomination gives her extra motivation to achieve even better results, but she has never raised a team that exceeds her personal goals.
“My game philosophy is about one hundred percent dedication to the team, for its benefit, to the end result. I am a defender, but my tasks can vary depending on the competition, the match plan, so I try to adapt and give the team what I can best. If it could be a goal or a successful pass – just be it, but I don’t mean it (smiles). I work hard in training, I strive to be better every day, to improve all the elements of the game, and it is important to trust the plan and instructions prepared by the coach on the court, ”S. Rosette emphasized at the beginning of the conversation.
– Sam, you have been recognized as the best player in the first round of the Spark Energy A League. What does this rating mean to you?
– I’ll be frank, it was a really nice surprise. I didn’t know the league was organizing elections for the best players in the circle. Such an assessment gives extra confidence, but at the same time it is the merit of the teammates, the staff of the coaches, so I thank them. Without their support, trust inside and outside the square, there would be no rewards.
– How did you manage to get in great shape from the start of the season? It is often said that players who come to a new team need a lot of time to adapt, the sports curve goes up slowly.
– Before coming to Lithuania, I poured a lot of sweat during my physical training. I prepared for the new season responsibly and consistently. While in the US, I played sports with other professional players, improved our physical condition, and strengthened our body. I don’t think that work went in vain, as soon as I arrived here I felt fully prepared for all the physical exertion. Feeling physically, I was able to concentrate on other important aspects – tactical nuances, game schemes, knowledge of teammates. So, I would say that purposeful work in the off-season and the trust of the coaches and teammates in me contributed the most to the successful start of the season.
– There are no easy matches in the A league this season – as the coach said, all the opponents are playing with double energy against the champions. How do you cope with the pressure and constant status of favorites?
– It’s always more fun to play in championships that are competitive, where your opponents respect you and want to win every time. It’s a kind of motivational cartridge for each and every one of us. The status of favorites needs to be earned, it is even more difficult to maintain, defend and not stumble. I accept that pressure and set new goals for myself in every match. Only in this way can we progress, move forward and strive to be the favorites, not because of the past, but for the results we are showing today.
– You have probably already seen the significant differences between Kazakhstan and Lithuania. What are they?
– Representing BIIK Kazygurt, I only played in the UEFA Champions League, I did not take part in the local championship fights, but I had to watch the match. Of course, appreciating what you see and what you are a part of is different, but I can say that teams in Lithuania have a similar capacity. It is also fun to have to face the teams in the A-League championship more than once, because both the competitors and we can prepare various surprises, learn from mistakes, get to know our direct opponents, with whom there are also some intriguing micro-duels. I think the league gives it an extra charm.
– What are the goals of coming to the Gintra team and do these goals remain the same?
– I came here to become a better player, to help the team win as often as possible, to achieve all the set goals. I am glad that we have joined a good team, which I believe is able to implement the goals formed before the season – to defend the names of the A and Baltic League champions, to overcome the selection barrier of the UEFA Champions League.
– What are the strengths of the team and what do you think we need to improve in order not only to defend the titles of the A league and Baltic league champions, but also to be successful in the UEFA Champions League?
– Ever since we started training together, we have been able to get to know each other better, we have discovered connections, we are able to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each of us in the field. I think mutual understanding, mutual support and team play are our strengths. We have to work with faster decisions, improve the quality of the game, sales, because in the UEFA Champions League all teams are extremely high and will not give a second chance.
– This week, the teams face a double challenge – a match in the Baltic League with the Riga ICF on Wednesday and a match in Gargždai with a place in the Banga A league. What are the most important factors in meeting a double week?
– Energy, physicality and dedication. If we meet all these factors, we will follow the coach’s plan, I have no doubt that we will be happy with the good results. Two matches a week is not some kind of huge burden, we have to deal with it.
– You have already managed to get used to our country, Šiauliai, you have lived here for almost half a year. What sincerely surprised you the most? Where and how do you spend your free time?
– I was sincerely surprised at how many people in Lithuania speak English fluently. There are no problems communicating with people, so I got into the rhythm of life here quickly and smoothly. Sometimes Lithuanians seem a little worried and closed, but when you communicate more they understand that this is only the initial impression. In fact, the residents are warm, pleasant and cultured. In our free time we like to visit various famous places, other Lithuanian cities and towns with our teammates, we already have a lot of photos, we will be able to create an album (smiles). As the weather warms up, it becomes more and more pleasant to go out to the city to eat and try different dishes offered by cafes and restaurants.
We remind you that on Wednesday, the Gintra team will take on the challenge of the Riga ICF team at home in the second match of the Baltic League this season. The match will take place at the Gytariai artificial stadium at 7 p.m.