Ivan, you played already in Latvia (Summer 2014 -edit) and now you are in Estonia. Have you already drawn a comparison with the two football worlds, do you find anything similar/different?
It’s hard to say right now as we’ve been just in pre-season and the Premium Liiga hasn’t started yet. I think I will be able to give a judgement and answer to your question after few games. Of course, Levadia is the best team here so this will be a big difference for me (last season he was at FK Liepaja that ended 4th in Virsliga after Pecha left for Otelul Galati –edit).
Levadia will play the Champions League preliminaries and you are probably the most experienced player in this competition as you have these 6 minutes of appearance in group stage in a game against Juventus which have earned you popularity in Estonia (smiles –edit). This team has changed a lot, do you think Champions League will be a priority compared to the title chase?
We have to focus game by game. There’s still a long time before the Summer preliminaries. The first target is playing good and have good results in Premium Liiga, getting in the highest rank on the table I’d say. Then we will set our minds on that game. Luck in the draw will also be a component. Everything is possible in football, I am sure we can achieve a good result.
During your career you played most according to the continental calendar (from summer to spring -edit). Both in Estonia and Latvia they use the Nordic calendar, did you get used to it or do you still find it awkward?
I also played in Belarus and they apply the Nordic calendar there too. However there’s not really such a difference. There are pluses and minuses as in everything. For Nordic calendar the plus is that you do not have another preparation in the Summer, you do play games therefore is more interesting. The minus is that you cannot go on holidays during Summer as others do. There’s not such a Summertime to go somewhere with family and forget a bit about football. However, it’s not an issue, then you get a longer rest in Winter.
What about the Estonian Winter weather? Maybe not such a shock since it’s similar to Latvian…
Yes it is, but I am actually surprised since I expected it to be colder instead there’s no snow and we have 6-7 degrees, it’s much warmer!
Thank you Ivan and good luck for the upcoming season!