Story and facts in brief
Pärnu Linnameeskond are the youngest club among this year’s participants in Premium Liiga. Formed in 2011 as a fusion of all the teams from Pärnu (Pärnu JK Vaprus, Pärnu Jalgpalliklubi and Pärnu Kalevi SK), the club will play its first season at the highest level since its founding. This success is largely due to the rule that prevents top teams’ doubles to compete at the highest level as Pärnu LM finished last season only third in Esiliiga, 18 points behind Flora II.
The team was strengthened in many positions in preparations for the upcoming season, but the biggest reinforcement came in the staff room where the Estonian legend Raio Piiroja took over as a director.
They play their home games at Pärnu Raeküla staadion.
Transfers (full stories here)
Karl Palatu (EST - CB, Paide Linnameeskond)
Rauno Tutk (EST - CB, Tartu Tammeka)
Greger Könninge (EST - LM, Vändra Vaprus)
Chris Anderson (EST - CB, Vändra Vaprus)
Ander Paabut (EST - CF, Vändra Vaprus)
Risto Kauniste (EST - MF, Pärnu Metropol)
Hevar Aas (EST, MF, Pärnu Metropol)
Kermo Hunt (EST – GK, Pärnu JK)
Kris Antsmaa (EST – DF, Pärnu JK)
Jako Kanter (EST – DF, Pärnu JK)
Martin Mardiste (EST – DF, Pärnu JK)
Mirko Mardiste (EST – DF, Pärnu JK)
Henry Laurson (EST – DF, Pärnu JK)
Albert Anissimov (EST - MF, Kalev Tallinn)
Kristian Lenk (EST – FW, Pärnu JK)
Risto Kauniste (EST - FW, Pärnu Metropool)
Kristen Saarts (EST - FW, on loan from Levadia Tallinn)
Kristian Tamme (EST - GK, on loan from Levadia Tallinn)
Taavi Kitsel (EST - DF, Pärnu Vaprus)
Julius Sepp (EST - MF, Pärnu Vaprus)
Alder Lepik (EST - MF, free agent)
Margus Põldsaar (EST - MF, free agent)
Jaak-Peeter Oja (EST - DF, Pärnu Vaprus)
Andro Aavik (EST - DF, free agent)
Ott Midenbritt (EST - MF, Vändra Vaprus)
Coach: Marko Lelov (new)
Registered players on Premium Liiga website
Realistic targets for 2015
They are certainly not flying high. Completely aware of their level, the players from the Estonian summer capital will do their best to stay in the top flight longer than a season even though it seems like a mammoth task at the moment. They lost their top scorer Kristen Saarts, who went to Levadia, but managed to retain the services of their second top scorer Henri Hanson. Their main contenders will be the teams of Viljandi Tulevik and Tammeka Tartu, but will definitely try to rain on Paide’s and Narva’s parades.
As we mentioned before, the team is quite young, but seriously reinforced themselves by recruiting Karl Palatu from Paide and Rauno Tutk from Tammeka, who are supposed to bring stability and experience in the defensive and the midfield lines, respectively. Ander Paabut was brought from their neighbours from Vändra to strengthen the offensive line and he is expected to take the position of a second striker, just behind Henri Hanson.
After scoring 25 goals last season, the 19-year old Hanson will definitely try to make a name for himself in the top flight as well. He might not be as strong as Neemelo or Voskobojnikov, but his ability to sneak past the defense will surely bring joy to Pärnu’s fans this year (see video of his goals against Rakvere below -min 1:24).
However, with the return of Kristen Saarts on loan from Levadia, the 2014 Esiliiga top-scorer might steal the scene
After being revealed that he is leaving Tammeka to take on a job at the Estonian FA, Rauno Tutk decided to make a U-turn and join the newly-promoted side. The author of last year’s Premium Liiga Goal of the Season 2014 (see video on the right hand side) will be of big help for the club from the west side of the country and we can just hope to see more amazing goals from him.
by Deni Delev