Rumori di Spogliatoio

Speciale Premium Liiga: the 10 clubs ready on the starting grid

Angelo PalmeriComment
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The 10 Premium Liiga clubs of season 2014 presented one by one.

Click to enlarge each club card and the starting grid position fo each.

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N.B.:  In the club card, '00' is for players' numbers that were not available, we will update the info as soon as possible.
Nationality of the player is mentioned if different from Estonian. If nationality unknown it will be marked as follows: (-)
Where not indicated, the pictures of the squads are all from season 2014. We will try to update as soon as fresher pictures will be available.

All information about players' numbers according to www.premiumliiga.ee and www.transfermarkt.de

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March is  the month when Formula 1 kicks off

We have imagined Premium Liiga as a Formula one Gran Prix and the clubs as Formula 1 cars and put them on a starting grid according to their potential.

In each club file we will analyze why they occupy that position in the grid.


Have a good season of football with RdS!



FC Flora - 1991

Story and facts in brief
It's the most-titled club in the history of Estonian football after regained independence. In the past, it constituted the feeder of the national team. The president of the club is Aivar Pohlak, Estonian FA chairman. For the first time after 20 years running (1994-2014) they will now play in the European cups. They have never been relegated and they have competed in all the seasons of Meistriliiga-Premium Liiga since 1992. 
Notable former players are Martin Reim, Indrek Zelinski, Andres Oper, Henri Anier.

Transfers (full stories here)
Arrivals
Irakli Logua (FW, RUS, free agent, signed new contract)
Raio Piiroja (DF, EST, Chengdu Blades - CHN)

Karl Mööl (FW, EST, end of loan to FC Kuressaare)
Marten Mütt (FW, EST, end of loan to FC Kuressaare)
Taavi Rähn (DF, EST, FF Jaro - FIN)
Erkki Junolainen (MF, EST, LEVADIA)
Johannes Kukebal (DF, EST, end of  loan to Kalev Tallinn)

Departures
Sander Van de Streek (MF, NED, on loan from Jong Vitesse/AGOVV - NED)
Irakli Logua (FW, RUS, unknown)
Karl Palatu (DF, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)
Johannes Kukebal (DF, EST, on loan to Kalev Tallinn)
Lamin Suma (FW, SLE, termination of contract)
Karl Mööl (FW, EST, Nõmme Kalju)
Marten Mütt (FW, EST, Paide Linnameeskond) 
 

Realistic target for 2014
FC Flora target has always been through the history of the club to at least arrive within the first three places. Notwithstanding the new technical direction indicated by Aivar Pohlak both at club and national team level (development of a game style based on ball possession), the road is still very long.
The very young team (average age of a starting XI during pre-season was 21,5) has been partially compensated with the arrival of veteran like Taavi Rähn, following the example set by Levadia last season. However, it took 4 years for Levadia to become Champions again. Flora realistic target is to do better than last year and reach the third place that will at least bring them back to Europe.


Rising stars
We asked Bogdan Vastchuk, FC Reading U-20 and U-21 striker, a great protagonist of the Granatkin Memorial tournament in January , who could be, among his teammates in St.Petersburg, the great young protagonist of the 2014 Premium Liiga. He had no doubt: Maksim Gussev.
The nr.20 is indeed promising, provided he will supply also good defensive performances when not in possession. With Irakly Logua back at the club, he has to play his chances to the top considering that Logua was voted best players by Flora fans in 2013.
We would add to this list also Rauno Sappinen (fighting with Alliku).


Added value
The return of Zakaria Beglarashvili represents an important addition to the squad as the young Georgian brought a sparkle of fantasy and out-of-scheme performances already since pre-season. His ballistic feat in the Supercup it is the weapon of choice to unlock the stalemate.



FC Infonet – 2002

Story and facts in brief
It's the youngest club in Premium Liiga yet one of the more ambitious. Founded by the IT entrepreneur Andrew Leshkin. Infonet is the name of the sponsor, the IT company founded by Leshkin himself providing internet, cable tv and phone packages. The club has become distinctive for the work with the academy where most of the young talents come from. The club is guided by two historical personages of the history of Estonian football: Aleksandr Puśtov, the head coach, was the first player to score a goal for Estonia after regained indipendence (a 1-1 draw against Slovenia in Kadriorg stadium) and his assistant, Sergei Bragin, scored the first goal in qualification games (Scotland-Estonia 3-1). Their training camp is in the large Soviet-time built district of Lasnamäe.



Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals
Tanel Melts (MF, EST, Nõmme Kalju)
Marten Saarlas (FW, EST, Levadia II)
Deniss Malov (MF, EST, unknown)
Kassim Aidara (MF, FRA, Sillamäe Kalev)
Vladimir Malinin (FW, RUS, on loan from Velldoris)

Departures
Anton Tsuikov (DF, UKR, end of loan from Levadia II)
Aleksandr Bebikh (FW, RUS, on loan to Velldoris)
Dmitri Kovtunovits (DF, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)

Realistic target for 2014
This squad can dream. The addition of French attacking midfield, Kassim Aidara, has brought additional flair to an already intriguing mixture of youngsters and veterans. Puśtov 4-2-3-1 offers good attacking football with the likes of Valov and Lipin bringing speed and unpredictability. Aidara might be used as a pure striker creating competion with Ivorian Manucho, a delusion last season after the 31 goals scored in Esiliiga (second tier) that helped Infonet to gain their first historical promotion to the top-flight. The young Marten Saarlas (a Levadia output and a trial at Ajax Amsterdam) can be a valid alternative during the long season. Lipin can also play as a trequartista and could exploit the space created upfront to score more goals than last season. Infonet can realistically aim at the 5th place (last season they ended 6th after a surprising season) however, they will be close behind Flora and Sillamäe to grab whatever the two famous clubs will leave behind.

Rising stars
The list is so long that it is enough to check the club card and note down most of the names: Lipin, Elhi, Igonen, Harin etc. However, if we shall pick one, we would go for Maksim Lipin. He has already favourably impressed during last season. He needs now to re-confirm himself and become even more decisive for his side. He belongs to sport agency NESTA Sport Group run by  Stepanov and Novikov (former internationals), if he works well, they have the ability to make him find a good contract abroad which is the dream of every young footballer of the country.

Added value
With no doubt, Kassim Aidara (17 goals in 34 matched at Sillamäe) is the biggest signing made by FC Infonet. If he will keep scoring in the same fashion, he can help 'the blacks' to reach important goals. 

 


Kalev Tallinn - 1911

Story and facts in brief
The oldest Estonian club in Premium boasting two years in the Soviet Premier League, the only Estonian club in the history of USSR able to do that. They obtained a 2-2 draw against Spartak Moscow in 1961. The club was originally founded as JS Meteor. Meteor, founded in 1909, later on (1911) entered into the Kalev Polisportive to change its name into JK Tallinna Kalev (the original full-lenght Estonian name). JS Meteor vs. Merkuur was the first ever club football game played in Estonia and Meteor won it 4-2. The club was refounded in 2002 and started from the lower leagues to reach top-flight football in 2007. The club has gone under financial trouble during last season and it has been commissioned by the Estonian FA and it is still controlled by EFA official to this day. The coach is former national team coach, Tarmo Rüütli, the most successful coach in the history of the national team.


Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals
Nikita Koger ( FW, EST, on loan from Levadia)
Lauri Välja (MF, EST, on loan from Levadia)
Ian-Erik Valge (FW, EST, FC Puuma)
Johannes Kukebal (DF, EST, on loan from Flora)
Albert Anissimov (MF, EST, Pärnu Linnameeskond)
Raiko Karpov (FW, EST, FC Kuressaare)
Ranon Kriisa (MF, EST, Saue JK Laagri)
Silver Saluste (GK, EST, JK Visadus)
Alen Stepanjan (DF, EST, FC Viikingit - FIN)
Lasha Omanidze (FW, GEO, unknown)
Ando Hausenberg (DF, EST, Tammeka Tartu)
Oliver Heliste (DF, EST, MC Tallinn)
Henry Niinlaub (MF, EST, free agent)
Ioneal Armean (DF, FIN, FC Espoo)
Juri Gavrilov (MF, EST, FC Kuressaare)
Anton Issakov (MF, EST, Pärnu Linnameeskond)

Departures
Mart-Mattis Niinepuu (GK, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)
Alex Sander Sepp (MF, EST, Flora II)
Kevin Ingerman (DF, EST, end of loan from Levadia)
Daniel Vazquez Evuy (DF, EQG, unknown)
Ats Sillaste (MF, EST, unknown)
Mikk Sillaste (DF, EST, unknown)
Risto Kägo (MF, EST, unknown)
Aladin Sisic (FW, BIH, NK Domzale - SLO)
Edwin Stüf (MF, EST, unknown)
Stefan Tripkovic (FW, SRB, FK Rad - SRB)
Martin Tšegodajev (MF, EST, FCF Tallinna Ülikool)
Maksim Paponov (MF, EST, Sillamäe Kalev)

Realistic target for 2014
Let's not go too much around it. This squad will fight for the play-off  spot (9th place) until the very last matchday against Tammeka. The return to the amateur level and the departure of few good players signed Kalev's end of dreams after last season great plans led by German coach Frank Bernhard, shipwrecked along with the rest of the team on betting scandals, team discipline issues and poor performances. The new Kalev has one weapon of choice: Tarmo Rüütli. 'Tari' would certainly refuse the label of 'miracle maker' and pull out one of his witty sentences, however this is the pure truth. If Tammeka have to make go with last season's second team coach, Kalev have the Estonian national team commander of the past 6 years in charge. Players should just sit down and learn. If he goes to coach in Kazakhstan according to some rumours then for Kalev there are no hopes to avoid the last place, meaning relegation to Esiliiga.
(Update: Tarmo Rüütli was actually replaced by Sergei Zamogilnõi following Rüütli moving to Kazakhstan)


Rising stars
Very hard to hint at one in the general mediocrity. However few elements might make the difference: Kukebal and Koger, respectively from Flora' and Levadia's academies.

Added value
Another son of the Tammeka diaspora, Ando Hausenberg, might help a decent performance in the defence.



Nõmme Kalju FC - 1923

Story and facts in brief
Originally founded in 1923 it was re-established in 1997. The club turn in history was when entrepreneur Kuno Tehva decided to take over the club and set a new strategy to reach Premium Liiga in few years and win the title. It was 2002 and it took exactly 10 years for Tehva to realize his dream and bring the national title to Nõmme (2012), one of the most green districts of Tallinn in the city belt bringing to Pärnu. The dream went further as the club managed to reach the Europa League play-offs in 2013 after playing four games in the Champions League preliminary. The club has set the trend on marketing applied to football with appealing campaigns. Their nickname is ‘The Pink Panthers’ (‘Roosad Pantrid’) as they used to play with pink jersey.

Transfers (full stories here)


Arrivals
Kosuke Usami (MF, JPN, back from loan to Sillamäe Kalev)
Andre Järva (FW, EST , FC Ararat Tallinn)

Fabio Prates (MF, BRA, unknown)
Reginald (MF, FRA, unknown)
Novo Papaz (MF, BIH, FK Famos Vojkovic)
Martin Vunk (MF, EST, Sillamäe Kalev)
Nicolas Galpin (DF, FRA, unknown)
Mikk Reintam (DF, EST, JJK - FIN)
Karl Mööl (MF, EST, FC Flora)


Departures
Eino Puri (MF, EST, FC Botosani, ROM)
Yankuba Ceesay (MF, GAM, KuPS - FIN)
Sergei Terehhov (MF, EST, end of career)
Adis Hadzanovic (MF, BIH, on loan to Sana'a Al-Ahli - YEM)
Vladimir Voskoboinikov (FW, EST, on loan to unspecified Chinese club)
Alo Dupikov (FW, EST, contract ended)
Andres Koogas (DF, EST, unknown)
Hiroki Maehara (DF, JAP, Silamäe Kalev)
Kosuke Usami (FW, JAP, contract ended)
Marco Bianchi (DF, ITA, unknown)

 

Realistic target for 2014
Kalju’s aspiration can only be the title. The way it slipped last season, it still burns. After the European hangover Kalju wants to win at home again. Out of the Cup 2013-14, they will try to set themselves up for some silverware in 2015 (the cup doesn’t follow the Nordic calendar). The team is basically new with few important signings (internationals Martin Vunk and Mikk Reintam) and some new foreign faces (Brazilian Fabio Prates and French Nicolas Galpin and Reginald). The big issue will be to re-organize the game once the strikers’ couple has disappeared: Quintieri is sidelined by a long-term injury (exact length is unknown) and Voskoboinikov was loaned to China (will return in the summer). Prins needs to re-think a valid partnership up front after all the effort to find a good one during the course of previous season. If Kimbaloula does not leave for Poland, he could be used as a striker with Karl Mööl behind him. The risk is that Prins&Co. might lose points in the process. The first game against FC Infonet is already delicate. The realistic target is to fight for the title with Levadia until the bottom as Kalju has to face a new season with a renovated XI.

Rising stars
There was no time to understand what type of player the Bosnian Novo Papaz is, however our eyes go to the local talent. Andre Järva, 17-years-old, could have a chance if Prins will look for alternative solutions. The young striker has already proved himself a good goalscorer at the Granatkin Memorial in St.Petersburg in January. Karl Mööl will provide extra flari to Kalju’s attacking options.

Added value
The big signing of the campaign is certainly Martin Vunk. As Voskoboinikov was a key-signing last year, Martin will be the same for this season bringing his international experience at Kalju’s service.

 


Fc Levadia – 1998

Story and facts in brief
Founded as Levadia Maardu, a suburbian town in Tallinn’s outskirt, he later on moved to Tallinn. Their training camp is located in the city district of Pirita upon Maarjamäe hill. Eusebio has inaugurated the training camp no less. The owner of the club is Ukrainian entrepreneur, Viktor Levada. The club reached Meistriliiga/Premium Liiga immediately winning their first title and treble in 1999. They have managed several times to go through one leg of the Champions League reaching the one where they battled with the likes of Shaktar Donetsk, Debrecen and Red Star Belgrade. In the UEFA Cup 2006-07 they managed to reach the third stage and play a tie with English side Newcastle United, at present the only clash at club level of an Estonian club with an English one. Levadia is the second most-titled club in Estonia however the most successful in Europe.


Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals
Pavel Marin (MF, EST, FC Puuma)
Vladislav Ivanov (FW, RUS, FC Khimik Dzerzhinsk)
Heiko Tamm (MF, EST, Tammeka Tartu)
Kevin Ingermann (DF, EST, end on loan to Kalev Tallinn)
Arsenij Bujnickij (FW, LTU, Panevezys Ekranas - LTU)
Dragomir Vukobratovic (MF, CRO, Gazovik Orenburg - RUS)
Omar El Hussieny (MF, EGY, Kahrbaa Ismailia - EGY)

Departures
Rimo Hunt (FW, EST, FC Kaizar Kyzylorda - KAZ)
Marten Saarlas (FW, EST, FC Infonet)
Andero Pebre (MF, EST, unknown)
Nikita Koger ( FW, EST, on loan to Kalev Tallinn)
Kevin Ingermann ( DF, EST, on loan to Kalev Tallinn)
Lauri Välja (MF, EST, on loan to Kalev Tallinn)
Kaspar Kaldoja (DF, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)
Alexandr Dmitrijev (MF, EST, unknown)
Dmitri Kruglov (DF, EST, Ravan Baku - AZE)
Erkki Junolainen (MF, EST, Flora) 

Realistic target for 2014
One title has already gone as a disappointing performance left the Supercup behind to Flora. Both Kristal and assistant coach Zelinski have remarked that chances need to be finished. Yes, but who? With topscorer Hunt gone to Kazakhstan and Vladislav Ivanov on his way to adapt to the new team, the burden of the striking power seems to be on Teever’s shoulders. He played well in the Supercup but he showed why he was behind Hunt in the hierarchy last season. Compared to Kalju, the rest of the XI is the same, therefore Kristal has to think smartly how to go round the problem. Certainly leaving Rättel on the bench is not a solution. Smartly thinking, he might abandon his 4-4-2 and use his friend Prins’ 4-4-1-1 allowing Rättel to operate behind either Teever or Ivanov. Long term, Levadia will face the Champions League challenge which they have been waiting for 4 years, it might well take energies away as it happened to Kalju. Under this point of view, it will be important to collect as many points as possible until Midsummer. Realistically they can win the second title in a row as they have changed less than the other opponents have.

Rising stars
Rättel can really become one protagonist of this season. The injury in March 2013 was a setback that partially affected all the remaining part. The young Rohtla might be a valid alternative as attacking midfielder. Keep an eye also on Finnish midfielder Aallikko if he will get a chance to play.

Added value
The very first Egyptian, Omar El-Hussieny, impressed well in pre-season and he is much awaited by fans and observers. If Kruglov will go, Kristal can sleep tight at night.



FC Lokomotiv Jõhvi - 1998

Story and facts in brief
The original club was founded in 1999 as Orbiit Jõhvi. After the renaming into ‘Lokomotiv’ the foundation date was changed to 2011. Their sponsor, Spacecom, is a railway company belonging to Estonian richest man, Oleg Ossinovsky, according to Äripäev (a business newspaper in the country). However official ties between the tycoon and the club have only been rumoured. Ossinovsky also owns Skinest Rail and has financed his son Jevgeni political campaign to get a seat the Estonian parliament with Social-Democratic party.

Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals

Denis Kulikov (DF, EST, Narva Trans)
Maxime Mboungou (MF, CGO, Tammeka Tartu)
Alexander Hlõbostin (MF, EST, Kohta-Järve)
Valeri Kurlotskin (DF, EST, FC Puuma)
Vitali Kutuzov (FW, RUS, Narva Trans)
Bogdans Nesterenko (DF, LVA, FK Maschu-KMV Pyatigorsk - RUS)
Rihards Ivanovs (MF, LVA, FK Rezekne/BJSS - LVA)
Igor Potapov (DF, RUS, FK Piter – RUS)
Kevin Kaivoja (MF, EST, JK Järve)
Valeri Smelkov (GK, EST, Narva Trans)

Departures

Evgeni Ponyatovski (GK, RUS, Narva Trans)
Andrei Tjunin (MF, EST, end of caree)
Maksim Babjak (MF, EST, 
Kiviõli FC Irbis)
Aleksei Mamontov (MF, EST, unknown)



Realistic target for 2014
Their striking power in Esiliiga (80 goals last season) is not likely to repeat with the same numbers in the top-flight, however Andrei Jõgi and Maksim Bazjukin might still score those goals necessary for the newly promoted to retain the tier. Nesterenko is also trusting a lot a Latvian import, Ivanovs and can count on his son Bogdan in the defence. Realistically, they are much better off than Kalev and Tammeka and they could save themselves from relegation.

Rising stars
Nesterenko complained back in 2013, that his talents are not scouted by the national team coaches and he made one precise name: Kevin Kaivoja.
Chosen as Jõhvi’s face for the Premium Liiga promotional video, he could really take off and reach the international level.

Added value
No one noticed it, but Jõhvi signed Congolese player, Maxime Mboungou. His effort and sacrifice at Tammeka, helped the white-blues to go past the play-off game. He has left a lot of good memories in Tartu. His experience in fighting in the drop zone every weekend will help Loko to survive.





Paide Linnameeskond - 1990

Story and facts in brief
The club was born as a regional spin off of metropolitan club Flora, FC Flora Paide Linnameeskond. Their first game in Meistriliiga/Premium Liiga dates back to 5 years ago, the 7th of March 2009. 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 topscorer in 2009 with 5 goals. Last season Paide collected the best place ever as they finished 5th on the table after collecting two 6th places in a row.

Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals
Elari Valmas (FW, EST, FC Kuressaare)
Rasmus Tomson (MF, EST, Tammeka Tartu)
Kaspar Paur (FW, EST Levadia II)
Karl Palatu (DF, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)
Joel Indermitte (DF, EST, FC Kuressaare)
Tauno Mõttus (MF, EST, Kalev Tallinn)
Marten Mütt (FW, EST, FC Flora)
Sander Sinilaid (MF, EST, FC Kuressaare)
Gregor Aru (MF, EST, Levadia II)
Kennet Kukk (FW, EST, Nõmme United)
Dmitri Kovtunovitš (DF, EST, FC Infonet)
Karl-Johann Reitalu (MF, EST, Flora II)
Stanislav Goldberg (MF, EST, SJK - FIN)
Siim Sten Palm (GK, EST, FC Kuressaare)
Atie Said (FW, SWE, Jonsereds IF)
 

Departures
Mihhail Lavrentjev (GK, EST, Sillamäe Kalev)
Tengitz Eteria (MF, GEO, unknown)
Carl Tubarik (DF, EST end of career)
Mait Nõmme (DF, EST, HÜJK Emmaste)
Karl Ivar Maar (FW, EST end of loan from Flora II)
Karel Voolaid (MF, EST, end of career)
Tiit Tikenberg (FW, EST, Viljandi Tulevik)
Meelis Peitre (DF, EST, unknown)
Lauri Varendi (MF, EST, unknown)
Jaan Leimann (MF,EST, unknown)
Tõnis Vanna (DF, EST, end of career)
Teet Allas (DF, EST, end of career)

Realistic target for 2014
Some have retired and some others have chosen other destinations. After 5 years it was a necessary blood change for Meelis Rooba who is now trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. In preseason indoor tournament, they hanged out with the big ones and they were grinded. The impression is that repeating the 5th place will be almost impossible considering Infonet will certainly take over. However, a safe salvation battled with Narva Trans should be accessible.

Rising stars
Atie Said, the young Swedish forward of Arabic origins seems that could find space in Rooba’s XI and could net those goals missing last season in the forward line. Elari Valmas is…’valmis’ (means ‘ready’ in Estonian).

Added value
The FC Kuressaare block: Indermitte, Valmas, Mütt, Sinilaid. They have played together last season and might be a team apart to build the rest around.
Veteran Karl Palatu might take over Carl Tubarik’s role back in defence.

 


Sillamäe Kalev - 1951

Story and facts in brief
Founded during Soviet times, the club started his activity in 1958 representing the city of Sillamäe in the Estonia SSR second tier. The club won two Estonian SSR cups in 1977 and 1978. The club as we know it was refounded in 1997. The expansion of the Port of Sillamäe (one of the club’s sponsors) brought investments into the city that meant also sponsors. In two years (2006-2008) they managed to rise from third tier to Mestriliiga/Premium Liiga where they have been ever since. The club owner (Aleksander Starodubtsev) and the coach (Sergei Ratnikov) have each a son playing in the squad (Mikhail, goalkeeper and Daniil, a trequartista).

Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals
Mihhail Lavrentjev (GK, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)
Jaroslav Kvassov (FW, UKR, FK Zorja Luhans'k - UKR)
Aleksei Lazebnoi (MF, UKR, FK Skala Stryi - UKR)
Stanislav Murikhin (FW, RUS, Terek Grozny II - RUS)
Igor Tśeminava (DF, RUS, Zenit St.Petersburg - RUS)
Maksim Paponov (MF, EST, Kalev)

 

Departures
Alexandr Bebikh (FW, RUS, Velldoris)
Kennet Jädal (DF, EST, unknown)
Kassim Aidara (MF, FRA, FC Infonet)
Marius Cinikas (DF, LTU, Suduva - LTU)
Martin Vunk (MF, EST, Nõmme Kalju)

 

Realistic target for 2014
Aidara, Vunk, Cinikas. The list of names that left the club is quite striking. Sillamäe have lost a man in almost each line. Aidara alone, scored 17 goals in 34 games as a midfielder. Sergei Ratnikov has to prepare for the second European chance for the club without those who helped reaching the third place. The risk it is to end up like Narva last season. However, considering the the issues they are facing behind, there should be the risk of a downfall. At the same time, the third place is not a realistic target anymore as Flora and Infonet will give battle.

Rising stars
Considering there were more stars who left rather thanarrived, we shall talk about ‘falling stars’. However, an eye should be kept on goalkeeper Lavrentjev who is rapidly ascending the hierarchy of goalkeepers in Estonia. Curiosity around the Zenit St.Petersburg output, Igor Tseminava.

Added value
Sillamäe is probably the only team who has added little compared to the direct rivals. However, interantional Sidorenkov might reveal a valid support.



Jalgpallikool Tammeka - 1989

Story and facts in brief
Founded 25 years ago, Tammeka was born as a youth team and they were protagonists of the homonymous Tammeka Cup in 90’s. Soon after, Tammeka started to play in the Estonian league system. In 2004 they were promoted to Meistriliiga.  The tip of Tammeka in Meistriliiga/Premium Liiga, was touched when the club reached the 5th place in 2007. In that season, 2007-08, they also reached the cup final losing 3-1 to FC Flora. A year before, the club had merged with Maag Tartu taking on the name of Maag Tammeka Tartu (Maag was the sponsor of the other club, a milk factory). The recent history of Tammeka is well known and RdS have covered it quite extensively here.


Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals 
Reio Laabus (MF, EST, FC Flora)
Karel Kiidron (DF, EST, Viktoria Zivkov)
Valeri Śabanov (MF, EST, on loan from JK Merkuur-Juunior)

Departures
Maxime Mbongou (MF, CGO, Lokomotiv Jõhvi)
Kaido Koppel (GK, EST, FC Elva)
Heiko Tamm (MF, EST, Levadia Tallinn)
Rasmus Tomson (MF, EST, Paide Linnameeskond)
Siim Tenno (MF, EST, Narva Trans)
Marvin Prempeh (DF, GER, unknown)


 

Realistic target for season 2014
One would say that it is already a miracle that Tammeka are in Premium Liiga, expecting that they will stay would be asking too much. However, they can fight until the last matchday (and eventually play-off game like last season) to retain the tier. Tammeka are like the Gallic village of Asterix resisting to the Roman invasion Their die-hard attitude might be the plus helping them to resist to the umpteenth storm and rise from the dust like the Phoenix. On the practical point of view, they can claim points only with Kalev, Lokomotiv and partially with Trans and Paide. The rest looks pretty prohibitive for the ‘Tiirik Gang’.

Rising stars
Tammeka have been giving talents to Estonian football almost relentlessly for 25 years. Even in such a difficult season, a few will emerge. We make our names: Jürgen Lorenz and Martin Jõgi, the latter was already around on trial.

Added value
If Karel Kiidron decides to leave the desk for a while and give a hand on the pitch it will certainly be beneficial.



Narva Trans - 1979

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 last season they did not manage to qualify after risking relegation.

Transfers (full stories here)

Arrivals
Sergei Lepmets (GK, EST, free agent)
Siim Tenno (MF, EST, Tammeka Tartu)
 

Departures
Deniss Muhametidnov (MF, RUS, unknown)
Aleksandr Dubõkin (MF, EST, Jerevan Ararat - ARM)
Ilja Śesterkov (MF, RUS, unknown)
Sergei Kazakov (MF, EST, end of career)
Vitali Kutuzov (MF, RUS, Lokomotiv Jõhvi)
Denis Kulikov (DF, EST, Lokomotiv Jõhvi)
Kristaps Dzelme (GK, LVA, unknown)
Valeri Smelkov (GK, EST, Lokomotiv Jõhvi)
Albert Taar (MF, EST, Wisla Plock - POL)



Realistic target for 2014
A lot of trials for Narva Trans (from Italy, Turkey and even Camerun) and in the end, they just signed Siim Tenno on the very last day. Narva have shined among the drop zone clubs in the indoor tournament, it is a sign that 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.

Rising stars
Now or never it’s the time of Artur Śkinjov, one of the most prolific in the sterile forward line of Trans.

Added value
Without any shadow of doubt: Siim Tenno.