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Premium Liiga 2015 guide: Narva Trans

Angelo PalmeriComment

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Story and facts in brief

They are a founding member of the Meistriliiga/Premium Liiga and they have never been relegated.

Founded in 1979 they managed to add silverware by winning an Estonian Cup 2001 and two Supercups in a row, 2007 and 2008.

They have never won the league as they got close in 2006 when they were runners-up. They are the least successful Estonian club in Europe as they won only two games and suffered 105 goals in 32 games (more than 3 goals per game). Since 1999, they played in Europe for 14 seasons in a row, however in the past two seasons they did not manage even to fight for an European place since they were involved into the relegations fight.

From Estonian Champion to almost nothing. Aleksei Jahhimovits (right, here with former teammate Artjom Artjunin now in Romania) tries to start over again in Narva after the matchfixing suspension ended with the end of 2014.

From Estonian Champion to almost nothing. Aleksei Jahhimovits (right, here with former teammate Artjom Artjunin now in Romania) tries to start over again in Narva after the matchfixing suspension ended with the end of 2014.

Transfers (full stories here)

ARRIVALS
Aleksei Matrossov (EST, GK - Lokomotiv Jõhvi)
Aleksei Jahhimovitś (EST, CD - free agent)
Roman Śmiśko (UKR, GK - FC Levadia)
Roman Protassov (RUS, MF - FK Karjala Petrosloi, RUS)

Volodymyr Kilikevych (UKR, AMF - free agent)
Marek Kaljumäe (EST, DMF - FC Levadia)


DEPARTURES
Viktor Plotnikov 
(EST, LMF, Sillamäe Kalev)
Vitali Kutuzov (RUS - RMF, free agent)
Pavel Avdeev (RUS - CD, free agent)
Ignat Epifanov (RUS - CMF, free agent)
Dmitri Shevyakov (RUS - RMF, free agent)
Ilja Osipov (RUS - RMF, free agent)
Andreijs Sinicins (LVA - AMF, free agent)
Nikita Tokaychuk (EST - GK, retired)

Coach: Aleksei Jagudin (confirmed)

Registered players on Premium Liiga website

Double Team 

The Uzbeki-born coach, Jagudin, sets a high target for his team: European spot.

The Uzbeki-born coach, Jagudin, sets a high target for his team: European spot.

Realistic target for 2015

Last year we were prophetic: ‘their top ambition can only be to save themselves beforehand however nothing more than the 6th place should be achievable. Paide will be their main rivals.’ Paide made to the 6th, whereas Narva had to be content with the 8th, 7 points adrift from the Central Estonia club.

2014 title ambitions were either a bluff or a lack of touch with reality. President Nikolai Burdakov has been more modest this season claiming a place back in the elite for his club.

However, what is the real ambition for this season?

In coach Jagudin’s words, the target is to reach a Europa League spot. However, we cannot see how Narva could top sides like Kalju, Flora or Sillamäe, without mentioning that Infonet shall be even stronger than last season. Śmiśko and Jahhimovits are great additions, however the team hasn’t changed considerably compared to last one and the other few inbound moves do not seem to represent a threat for the top5.

Narva will have to make go with Irie’s injury protracting for a little longer into season 2015.

The border-city club can once and again aim at a quieter safety before time, they will be fighting with Paide and Tammeka in the same fashion as last season.

Tamberg (left) and Skinjov (right) can be Narva's golden pieces if injuries and lack of form will look elsewhere this season.

Tamberg (left) and Skinjov (right) can be Narva's golden pieces if injuries and lack of form will look elsewhere this season.

Rising stars

It was a now or never for Artjom Skinjov (1996) last season.

Overall he was a disappointment, however the U-19 international has got one more year of experience and enjoys Jagudin’s trust up front. This goal in pre-season shows he can have his say.
 

The return of Tanel Tamberg will be like a new signing for Narva Trans.

From being Levadia's fundamental player to Narva's top-signing (Jana Pipar / Narva Trans Facebook)

From being Levadia's fundamental player to Narva's top-signing (Jana Pipar / Narva Trans Facebook)

Added value
With no shadow of doubt: Roman Śmiśko. It was a top signing for Narva since they acquire more than a very confident goalkeeper between the sticks. The last good one was Sergei Leptmets, who left for Finland. Getting the best goalkeeper of Premium Liiga in the past two seasons is like winning the lottery. 

by Angelo Palmeri