Silute seal top-flight place FK Silute will replace relegated FK Sakalas in Lithuania's top division next season, the body responsible for the organisation of the championship, the Lithuanian Football Clubs' Association, has confirmed.
Silute finished third in the second division in 2003. However, FK Polonija, who came first, cannot be promoted as they are top-flight FK Žalgiris Vilnius's feeder club. Meanwhile, second-placed FK Gelezinis Vilkas Vilnius declined the chance to move into the élite division.
"FK Silute gave us financial guarantees and will compete in the top division," said Romas Stasauskas, director of the Lithuanian Football Clubs' Association.
There will be eight clubs competing for the league title when the 2004 season begins in April. Each team will play each other four times with FBK Kaunas, winners for the past five years, starting as favourites.
You have two teams in Premiere division from towns with less then 5000 inhabitants? Where they can get money for that?
I live in town with ~ 5000 inh., but we can affort only II division.
In Latvia Virsliga - Skonto FC, FK Riga, FK Auda - from Riga with ~750000, HFK Liepajas Metalurgs from Liepaja with ~100000, Dinaburg FC, FK Ditton from Daugavpils with ~120000, FK Ventspils from Ventspils ~70000 and FK Jurmala with ~40000 inhabitants.
Last season VETRA played in a city(well, village) with a population of 600 people. So, about half of village used to come to the matches. But now the club moved to capital Vilnius, because all the club's fans live there.
Sergei Borovsky has resigned as coach of Lithuanian champions FBK Kaunas just ten days before the new season begins.
The former coach of coach of Belarussian side FC Torpedo-SKA Minsk revealed: "I have received a tempting offer from a Ukrainian Premier League club. I want to work in a stronger league."
Borovsky took over at Kaunas in June 2003 and later that year led the club to their fifth championship in a row. He also took them past HB Tórshavn in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round before defeat at the hands of Celtic FC.
Leaving the team ten days before the beginning of the championship is not too nice of him.
Lithuanian champions FBK Kaunas have appointed 51-year-old Senderis Girsovicius as their new head coach. Welcome return
Girsovicius, who led the club to their first league title in 1999, is returning to replace Belarussian Sergei Borovskiy, who left to take over at Ukrainian club FC Metalurh Zaporizhya.
"I have taken the Kaunas job after giving it some thought," said Girsovicius, who has recently been in charge of Lithuanian second division side FK Rodovitas Klaipeda. "It is a bit hard to coach a team which was prepared for the season by another coach."
The new A Lyga season begins on 18 April, Kaunas having won the previous five league titles. Girsovicius will be hopiung to collect his third championship as a coach, having also led FK Sirijus Klaipeda to the title in 1990.
It was interesting to see the level of FBK after the break, and man, what can I say? The first impression is negative, really negative...
Kaunas started in 3-5-2 formation:
GOAL: Gytis Padimanskas
DEFENCE: Darius Sanajevas in the centre, Tomas Kancelskis on the right, Darius Regelskis on the left.
MIDFIELD: Tadas Papeckys as the left winger, young talent Saulius Mikoliunas on the right, team captain Marius Bezykornovas as holding midfielder, Giedrius Barevicius and Vadim Petrenko above him.
ATTACK: Rimantas Zvingilas and Andrius Velicka.
FC Silute had 5 players on loan from FBK Kaunas.
Well, the game itself wasn't exactly a treat. After FC Silute scored that early goal and started to defend, the defending champions didn't manage to put together good attacking play. Lots of sloppiness, players not understanding each other, passes given away...
Lots of attack came through the left flank, with T.Papeckys constantly crossing the ball into the box for A.Velicka. But the latter made nothing out of it. In the second half, when R.Beniusis came on, he was more threatening in the air.
S.Mikoliunas didn't impress this time. Showed some good technical skills and nice touches, but the reading of the game and passes went just wrong...
Basically, it could be seen that individually, Kaunas players are superior, but they couldn't put their teamwork together at all...
As the second half wore on, Silute was tiring, and it showed in the very final minutes, when they lost some crucial scrambles for the ball in their penalty area.
Good showing by the League debutants -- lots of devotion and well-organised performance. It remains to be seen, however, how this team can play offensively, when they need to score.
Kaunas were lucky to play Silute in the first round. With such a play, Ekranas would have punished them severely, IMHO, or even such teams as Vetra or Atlantas. They really need to put their pieces together and start to execute some teamwork!