'Great pleasure'Mežeckis is well known in Latvian football for his professionalism, discipline and good humour and, while the 2008 campaign in Latvia has not been an easy one, he has taken pleasure in resolving issues wherever possible. "Every year brings you something new," he told uefa.com. "There are a lot of problems to solve and when you do that you feel a great pleasure."
Rīga bankruptcyThe most trying issue of all was that of FK Rīga, who struggled with financial problems all year and were eventually declared bankrupt a few days ago. "This is a very painful situation and a first in Latvian history," Mežeckis said. "We are not the first country to have faced such a problem. The LFF did all it could. We will work on a mechanism to help prevent such things in the future."
Format problemsAnother negative for Mežeckis was the reaction to the new format for the Virsliga, which split into two groups – one of six and one of four – after the first part of the season. "I agree that the experience was not positive," he conceded. "I think that we will play three rounds next year, but I cannot say at the moment how many clubs will participate in Virsliga."
Calendar changesThe new season will start earlier than usual, in March rather than April, in order to ensure that more local players are up to full speed in preparation for international fixtures. "We made this change to the calendar for the sake of the Latvian national team and I am really grateful to the management of the clubs who agreed to play in early spring," Mežeckis said.
Positive aspectsWhile 2008 was challenging at times, Mežeckis sees reason for optimism. "We had an interesting season," he said. "For the third season in a row FK Ventspils proved to be the best club in the country. I liked that they used a lot of young academy players which helps the whole of Latvian football. We did not have any problems with the young and inexperienced referees. However, we have a lot of work to do and our priority is to bring more fans to stadiums."