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450 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The Teams​

1. FC FLORA TALLINN (holders)
2. FC LEVADIA TALLINN (cup holders)

1st round:

5. märts Tallinna FC Levadia - Lasnamäe FC Ajax 11:00
5. märts Tartu JK Tammeka - Paide linnameeskond 14:00
5. märts Nõmme JK Kalju - Tallinna FC Flora 14:00
5. märts JK Sillamäe Kalev - FC Kuressaare 17:00
5. märts FC Viljandi - Narva JK Trans 19:30

4 out of the 5 opening games will be played at the Sportland Arena in Tallinn as there are only two venues that allow football to be played around this time of year, the other one being in Tartu. Why do we have to start so early? God knows.


Whom to look out for?
Nõmme Kalju has managed to create some excitement in the off-season, having signed former Estonia internationals Kristen Viikmäe (114 caps) and Tarmo Neemelo (20 caps). Other notable signings include Eino Puri from Levadia, Kaarlo Rantanen from Lahti and some Cuban and Japanese guys. Also, current international Alo Bärengrub is reportedly close to signing with the club, aswell as one more former international Andrei Stepanov (83 caps), however he would prefer to play in Belarus rather than in the Meistriliiga.

Will Levadia win it this time around?
Levadia dominated domestic football for years before being dethroned by city-rivals Flora last season. Having faced financial difficulties last year already, with the bankruptcy of their main sponsor (Levadia Ltd.), 2011 could prove to be a tricky year for the 7-times champions.

Is Flora stronger than last year?
Other than Joonas Tamm (sold to Norrköping) no notable loss of quality has been recorded at Flora. This young team will look to improve from last year and should be considered favorites to secure the title this campaign aswell.

What the hell is FC Viljandi?
The traditional side Viljandi Tulevik has been relegated to the depths of the Estonian football pyramid so they could build up a club independent from their (now former) parent Flora. So, FC Viljandi was created to fill their spot in the Meistriliiga. If Tulevik manage to achieve promotion to the top flight sometime in the future, FC Viljandi will be dissolved. However, looking at the squad, the club could vanish from the face of the earth much sooner.

Game on. :coffee:

12,740 Posts
Nice preview! :thumbsup:

Sportland Arena = A le Coq Arena?

Also, these Cuban and Japanese players, they don't have to earn a high salary or so, and where the hell do they come from and why do they want to play in Estonia? :D
I remember Neemelo, he's been close to being European topscorer some years ago I believe?

Do you know where to find the complete fixture list of the Meistriliiga and the 2nd level?
Only can find it here --> http://www.jalgpall.ee/ and then by clicking on the calender days at the right, is that the good and definite one?

450 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sportland Arena is a small stadium with artificial turf and a wooden stand next to A Le Coq.
The Cuban guy (Alain Garcia Gutierrez) came from Stara Zagora Beroe, apparently a Bulgarian top-flight club. Mitsuyama actually signed for Kalju last season already, however did not participate in any games due to injury. Have no clue how much they earn, can't be a lot though.

Neemelo was indeed in contention for the European Golden Boot award having scored 41 goals in 2005.

You can find the Meistriliiga fixture list here and the Esiliiga one here. This should be the definite one, however games may be postponed over the course of the season.

450 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Nõmme JK Kalju -Tallinna FC Flora 0:1 (0:0) (video)
87. Sander Post

JK Sillamäe Kalev - FC Kuressaare 1:1 (1:1)
40. Maksim Paponov - 16. Martti Pukk

FC Viljandi - Narva JK Trans 0:0 (0:0)

Tallinna FC Levadia - Lasnamäe FC Ajax 3:0 (0:0)
84., 86. Nikita Koljaev, 88. Igor Subbotin

Tartu JK Tammeka - Paide linnameeskond 2:2 (0:0)
73. Kaarel Torop, 82. Alar Alve - 90. Ats Sillaste, 90+1. Janek Kalda

19,837 Posts
5 Round :

JK Sillamäe Kalev
- FC Viljandi 2 : 0
Tartu JK Tammeka - Narva JK Trans 1 : 1
Tallinna FC Levadia - Nõmme JK Kalju 1 : 3
FC Kuressaare - Tallinna FC Flora 0 : 1
Lasnamäe FC Ajax - Paide Linnameeskond 1 : 2

1 JK Sillamäe Kalev 11
2 Tallinna FC Flora 11
3 Nõmme JK Kalju 10
4 Narva JK Trans 9
5 Tallinna FC Levadia 8
6 Paide Linnameeskond 8
7 Tartu JK Tammeka 3
8 FC Viljandi 2
9 FC Kuressaare 2
10 Lasnamäe FC Ajax 1

450 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

9. apr Nõmme JK Kalju - JK Sillamäe Kalev 1:2 (0:0)
9. apr Narva JK Trans - Paide linnameeskond 3:0 (0:0)
9. apr FC Viljandi - FC Kuressaare 2:0 (1:0)
9. apr Tartu JK Tammeka - Tallinna FC Levadia 0:5 (0:2)
9. apr Tallinna FC Flora - Lasnamäe FC Ajax 6:0 (1:0)

450 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

16. apr Tallinna FC Levadia - Narva JK Trans 2:1 (1:0)
16. apr Paide linnameeskond - Tallinna FC Flora 1:2 (0:0)
16. apr Lasnamäe FC Ajax - FC Viljandi 0:0 (0:0)
16. apr FC Kuressaare - Nõmme JK Kalju 0:1 (0:1)
16. apr JK Sillamäe Kalev - Tartu JK Tammeka 2:3 (1:1)

Tallinna FC Flora 17
JK Sillamäe Kalev 14
Tallinna FC Levadia 14
Nõmme JK Kalju 13
Narva JK Trans 12
Paide linnameeskond 8
FC Viljandi 6
Tartu JK Tammeka 6
FC Kuressaare 2
Lasnamäe FC Ajax 2

503 Posts
Do I get the right impression from the results so far, that the teams' performances leveled compared to former seasons? I mean, Tammeka stealing an away win at Sillamäe and Flora with some close results, that looks like real competition for the first time. :rolleyes:

157 Posts
Season review: Estonia

FC Flora Tallinn won a second successive league title with a game to spare while seven-time Estonian champions FC Levadia Tallinn finished outside the top three for the first time.

FC Flora Tallinn clinched a second successive First League title with a game to spare, also completing a third double, while seven-time Estonian champions FC Levadia Tallinn finished outside the top three for the first time.

Champions: FC Flora Tallinn
Under the guidance of former captain Martin Reim, Flora continued to gamble on the most promising Estonian youngsters and the policy paid off when they won a tough championship battle against JK Nõmme Kalju. The Pink Panthers even drew level at the top of the First League with Flora in the run-in, but Kalju's eclectic blend of former Estonian internationals and foreign imports fell just short of the finishing line. Despite accumulating five points less than last season, Flora secured their ninth Estonian title with conviction.

Cup final: JK Trans Narva 0-2 FC Flora Tallinn
Just two months after lifting the Estonian Super Cup, Flora also won the Estonian Cup for a fifth time. With the match evenly poised at half-time, Flora broke the deadlock within four minutes of the restart. Markus Jürgenson popped up to score after Valeri Minkenen's cross caused havoc in the Trans defence. The Narva outfit, who came third in the table for the third year running, kept the pressure on Flora yet failed to find a breakthrough. Alo Dupikov's neat finish duly sealed the silverware for the Tallinn side.

European places*
FC Flora Tallinn – UEFA Champions League qualifying
JK Nõmme Kalju – UEFA Europa League qualifying
JK Trans Narva – UEFA Europa League qualifying
2012 Estonian Cup winner – UEFA Europa League qualifying

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Sergei Mošnikov (FC Flora Tallinn)
Sergei Mošnikov earned the award, voted for by Estonia's top-flight coaches, after edging out Trans forward Aleksandrs Čekulajevs by one point. The 23-year-old was only the seventh-best goalscorer in his own team but played a decisive role in Flora's midfield. Mošnikov caught the eye with his passing ability, acting as his side's creative catalyst. If an end-of-term trial with Polish outfit Pogoń Szczecin failed to secure a contract, their loss will be Flora's gain.

One to watch: Marko Meerits (FC Flora Tallinn/Vitesse)
Marko Meerits gained international recognition in his first senior campaign with Flora. The goalkeeper kept eight clean sheets in 13 league appearances before moving on to Dutch club Vitesse. The 19-year-old has already played four Eredivisie games, been capped twice by his country and been voted Estonia's 2011 young player of the year.

Surprise package: Paide Linnameeskond
Usually a sizeable gap develops between the leading pack of five or six sides in the Meistriliiga and the rest, but this season amateur outfit Paide Linnameeskond fared very well. Despite nearly getting relegated in 2010, they spent much of this campaign rubbing shoulders with the championship chasers – producing notable upsets when beating Nõmme Kalju, Levadia Tallinn and JK Sillamäe Kalev. They ended up sixth and a great deal of the credit for their success goes to coach Meelis Rooba.

Leading scorer: Aleksandrs Čekulajevs (JK Trans Narva) 46

Number: 46
The astonishing tally of goals scored by 25-year-old Latvian forward Čekulajevs set a league record, surpassing the milestone of 41 set by Nõmme Kalju striker Tarmo Neemelo in 2005, when he played for TVMK. Eighteen of Čekulajevs's 46 goals came against bottom side FC Ajax Lasnamäe, who may be more relieved than anyone that the attacker is out of contract and could play abroad next year.

Relegated: FC Ajax Lasnamäe

Promoted: JK Kalev Tallinn

"When you can't score goals it's foolish to think about winning – we haven't so much as dreamt about the title for a long time, it would just be good to finish second or third."
Coach Sergei Hohlov-Simson whose Levadia Tallinn team endured their worst ever top-flight campaign

157 Posts
Čekulajevs cool on goalscoring feat

While there is a familiar look to the ESM Golden Shoe standings with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mario Gomez all in the top five, none for the moment can match Aleksandrs Čekulajevs.

The striker's 46 goals helped JK Trans Narva finish third in the Estonian First League – where his personal tally eclipsed the totals of four entire teams – yet the 25-year-old is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. "I don't feel giddy," he told UEFA.com. "I've already forgotten about it. I feel calm, although I know 46 goals is something pretty special."

While most players would be half his total, Čekulajevs has the nagging feeling that his final score could have been even higher. "I was close to 50," said the forward. "Here I didn't score a penalty, there I missed a good chance. My scoring rate was about 80% of my chances, so that left a slightly bitter taste."

Incredibly, Čekulajevs previously eclipsed his remarkable goal haul while at FK Auda in 2007. "I scored 51 goals in the Latvian second division four years ago," he said. "I rewrote the record books, but you can't be the best without the help of your team-mates. I'm very grateful to my Trans colleagues; they helped me, played for me and enjoyed my goals."

Čekulajevs singled out 37-year-old strike partner Maksim Gruznov – the Estonian league's all-time top scorer and appearance record holder – as a key figure, explaining: "Maksim gave me a lot of useful tips. I would not have scored so many without them." Coach Aleksei Yagudin also received credit, with Čekulajevs saying: "Even when I played poorly he included me in the starting lineup. He told me not to think about the goals, just to keep going and believing in myself. It really helped."

Surprisingly, those 46 goals were only enough for second place in the player of the league poll among top-flight coaches, behind FC Flora Tallinn midfielder Sergei Mošnikov, but Čekulajevs remains philosophical. "I was a bit disappointed but there's no reason to be upset for long," he said. "I was voted the player of the league in a fans' poll and that was a real honour for me."

Another privilege is having his name mentioned in such close proximity to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo. "I saw a headline on UEFA.com, and the article was about how Ronaldo moved to second place in the Golden Shoe race. It was both nice and funny because I am as far from Cristiano Ronaldo as I am from outer space. I like to watch him play even more than Messi."

In the meantime, Čekulajevs is keen to move on to fresh challenges rather than dwelling on his achievement. "I have to go forward," the striker said. "My future will become clear in January and then I will begin a new stage of my life. My 46 goals are already history, but there are still other records to break."
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