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Premium Liiga 2015 guide: Paide Linnameeskond

Chris JohnsComment

 CLICK TO ENLARGE CLUB CARD - jersey numbers as per friendly games/website

Story and facts in brief

The club was born as a regional spin off from a metropolitan club Flora, FC Flora Paide Linnameeskond. Their first game in Meistriliiga/Premium Liiga dates back to 6 years ago, the 7th of March 2009, though it did not start off very well for ‘Paidelona’ (nickname inspired to FC Barcelona due to the colours and design of the jerseys) as they lost 3-0 to Narva Trans). Meelis Rooba was a player at the club and top scorer in 2009 with 5 goals. In 2013 Paide collected the best place ever as they finished 5th in the table after two 6th places in a row.

 

Martin Ustaal in action in 2013 against his rights owner club, Levadia. After long trial at Kalju, he returned to Paide.

Martin Ustaal in action in 2013 against his rights owner club, Levadia. After long trial at Kalju, he returned to Paide.

Transfers (full stories here)

ARRIVALS
Vjatseslav Zahovaiko (EST - CF, Sillamae Kalev)
Martin Ustaal (EST - AMF, on loan from FC Levadia)
Andrus Lukjanov (EST - GK, Tammeka Tartu)

Kaspar Paur (EST - FW, on loan from Olümpia Tartu)

DEPARTURES
Marten Mütt 
(EST - CF, lifetime suspension for matchfixing)
Kaspar Paur (EST - FW, end of loan from Olümpia Tartu)
Martin Ustaal (EST - AMF, end of loan from FC Levadia)

Joel Indermitte (EST - CB, Atarfe Industrial CF, SPA)
Karl Palatu (EST - CB, Pärnu Linnameeskond)
Siim-Sten Palm (EST - GK, Nõmme Kalju)

Coach: Meelis Rooba (confirmed)

Registered players on Premium Liiga website

Double Team

Realistic Targets for 2015

2014’s steadiest team look content to try to continue that form into 2015 having signed just one player so far this winter, the very recent arrival of striker Vjatseslav Zahovaiko. They have lost some first-teamers from last year, including Kaspar Paur, Martin Ustaal, Joel Indermitte, Siim-Sten Palm, Stanislav Goldberg and Karl Palatu, along with fringe striker Marten Mutt, who has been hit with a lifetime ban for matchfixing.

There have been several trialists who have not yet been confirmed, including the likes of former Kalev midfielder Lauri Välja, winger Ats Sillaste, and amateur player Marion Adusoo (30-year-old striker who also played futsal with TV6 Sport at the end of 2014). In social media whispers it has surfaced that Finnish Jere Aallikko has also been trialling with Paide (later on it was confirmed he played one hour of a friendly game against Levadia double team).

New signings will be probably revealed upon players' registration.

Paide's predicted line-up for the start of the season (Kovtunovits' inclusion subject to speculation)

Paide's predicted line-up for the start of the season
(Kovtunovits' inclusion subject to speculation)

Boss Meelis Rooba highlighted the need for a striker, and following some disillusionment with foreign signings it was thought his attention would stay closer to home. A number of players have trialled in pre-season, but the arrival of Zahovaiko means they might not quite get away with simply crossing out a couple of players from last season’s squad photo and using it for the coming campaign. 

With a number of domestic strikers seemingly available, it was somewhat surprising that Estonia’s central club took so long to secure someone to score more than 8 goals in a season (last season’s top scorer was Rasmus Tomson with 8, Andre Mägi and Lauri Varendi’s 7 in 2013), though Rooba claimed the club had a target man lined up back in January, which was Zahovaiko as predicted by our columnist Seppo Plotter.

A silver lining is that integrating new players will not be much of a problem for Paide, but they have little to no chance of doing any better than last year’s finish of 6th without at least replacing the players they have lost.

Rising Stars

Meelis Rooba's is longing to see more of Uwa's celebrations in the upcoming season (Gertrud Alatare Photography)

Meelis Rooba's is longing to see more of Uwa's celebrations in the upcoming season (Gertrud Alatare Photography)

With Ustaal and Paur departing, Paide don't have a wealth of young talent in the first team. Jaspar Uwaegbalum has plenty to prove after a distinctly average 2014, but Paide may look to their youth team to fill the gaps left by departed players, and this may be an opportunity that those youngsters didn't expect to see so soon.
 

The secret weapon is not a secret any longer (Paide Facebook page)

The secret weapon is not a secret any longer (Paide Facebook page)

Added Value

Very little. It is expected that this will change at some point, but with the season drawing ever closer it is going to be a challenge for Paide to adequately replace and improve their squad.
Vjatseslav Zahovaiko (above picture, right) will definitely be the added value for Paidelona.

by Chris Johns