How did you decide to play soccer, especially as a goalkeeper?
From the moment Liam Wauters was able to take his first steps, the ball was already indispensable. Still, Liam’s story doesn’t run like so many goalkeepers. He started playing football at the age of 4.5, but as a regular fielder at the local soccer club Standaard Wetteren. That soon changed and KAA Gent saw something in this young talented player. With the U7 of Ghent, however, it is the case that each player takes turns in goal and therefore they do not have a regular goalkeeper at their disposal. Something you see more today because the clubs want every young player to be able to enjoy every aspect of football. Despite the fact that his trainer at the u8 Wesley Smets did see a future for Liam as a goalkeeper, it took until the u10 before he took the step to become a “full-time” goalkeeper. That Wesley would be right became clear a year later when the big Anderlecht was at the door and made a transition possible for Liam Wauters.
What goalkeepers do you admire?
Ederson, a goalkeeper who doesn’t shoot every ball forward with panic, but is constantly looking for solutions. Every football team dreams of such a goalkeeper. “I may have made mistakes because of my way of playing, but mistakes are also part of football,” he once said. “I’ll never let that affect my game.” Definitely wise words that young goalkeepers should take with them. Without making mistakes you can’t learn from them. So dare to make mistakes, that’s the only way you’ll find the right solution next time.
How would you define yourself as a goalkeeper?
Since Liam Wauters has spent many years as a field player, this is certainly not a disadvantage in modern football. As a goalkeeper these days, you don’t just have to be able to grab balls, you’re expected to do a lot more.
What do you think is the most important quality a goalkeeper should have?
Now if you ask us, you can give a lot of goalkeepers a place on the pitch and we are convinced that many of us will do their job there too. Putting every player in the goal would be a less good result we fear :-). When there is goalkeeper training you sometimes see teammates laughing with us or they say they have physical training and we goalkeepers only have to grab balls. We can only recommend them to do this so everyone can match the intensity of being a goalkeeper.
Did you expect your career as a goalkeeper to turn out the way she does now?
Liam Wauters started at the local soccer club when he was 4.5 years old. At that time, of course, you don’t think about what can come or may come. It’s a craze that you see more and more youth players imitating their idols. The same way of clothing, hairstyle, but also ways of walking. But you are who you are. Ronaldo is Ronaldo, Messi is Messi and Liam is Liam. Keeping both feet on the ground, hard work is the message. This is the only way you can continue to enjoy the game. Take the moments as they come and many beautiful moments will follow.
How do you prepare yourself and your gloves for a competition?
The day before the competition, not a good pack of fries with Mayonnaise, ketchup or a bear’s leg on the menu at home in Wauters. Not only does it require a lot of sacrifice in old age, but even now you have to dare to make those sacrifices to watch your diet. Of course, you also need to be supported by your parents, because in the end they have to make sacrifices for us as well.
For the matches Liam uses a separate pair of goalkeeper gloves so he can always enjoy the best grip. For this he moisturizes his goalkeeper gloves before the game. How moist depends on how wet the pitch is. When it’s already wet, the gloves will quickly be wet enough for an optimal grip.
And how many gloves do you usually wear each year?
It used to be 6 pairs a year, but since the Prostar gloves wear less quickly than the previous brands that Liam Wauters wore, now 4 pairs are enough to get through the season.
Which brands did you play with before you discovered Prostar?
Elite and adidas were the gloves that Liam found. Not so surprising. Elite an Israeli brand that quickly found its way to the European market and charmed a lot of goalkeepers with their quality. Adidas there and against was Jaar in Jaar out of the house brand of his club Anderlecht. Every player who played in Anderlecht and didn’t have a sponsorship contract with another brand went to work with Adidas. As of this year the club decided to make the switch to a new brand. And fortunately, because that’s how Liam Wauters discovered ProStar.
Why did you start playing with ProStar or are you still playing with ProStar and didn’t go back to a well-known brand?
Prostar has a special offer for Elite goalkeepers so it was very interesting to test it out. Since the wear and tear is less fast than with the previous gloves and they are very comfortable, there is no reason to switch to another brand. When you feel good about something as a goalkeeper, you’ll want to stick to it. A goalkeeper who feels good radiates all the more self-confidence to the opponent.
What’s the hardest thing for a goalkeeper?
It may be getting a bit monotonous, but it’s something you’ll hear all your life as a goalkeeper and will have to tell a lot yourself, but a goalkeeper will be punished for the mistakes he or she makes. As a goalkeeper, you have to try to place yourself above that as well as a person Everyone makes mistakes, including the goalkeeper, and is therefore not allowed to keep playing in your head Get up and show the others what you are really capable of!
Finally, what advice would you give a young goalie?
I’m still very young myself so I have a lot to learn, but you have to keep working hard and have fun in your goal and on the field.
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