FC Flora

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Flora
Fcflora2016.png
Full name FC Flora
Nickname(s) Triibulised (Streakeds), Kaktused (Cactus)
Founded 10 March 1990
Ground A. Le Coq Arena
Ground Capacity 10,340[1]
President Pelle Pohlak[2]
Manager Arno Pijpers[3]
League Meistriliiga
2016 Meistriliiga, 4th
Website www.fcflora.ee

Football Club Flora, also known as Flora Tallinn internationally, is a professional football club, based in Tallinn, Estonia. They compete in the Meistriliiga, the top tier of Estonian football.

Founded in 1990, the club was one of the founding members of the Meistriliiga, and is one of two clubs which have never been relegated from the Estonian top division. Flora has won 10 Meistriliiga titles, 7 Estonian Cups and 9 Estonian Supercups. In international club football, Flora has won 1 Livonia Cup trophy.[4]

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Flora was founded on 10 March 1990 by the current president Aivar Pohlak as an effort to revive Estonian football during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The team was mainly based on ethnic Estonian players from Lõvid youth team. Flora didn't have a successful start in the Estonian SSR Football Championship, finishing last in the 1990 season and being relegated. The situation changed after the restoration of independence and formation of the Meistriliiga in 1992. After 52 years of foreign occupation, Estonian clubs could once again play for the Estonian League Championship title. Flora finished the first season in fourth place, while Norma won the first league title.[5]

After the first season, the league was reformed to run from Autumn to Spring, as most of the European top-level football leagues do. Flora finished the 1992–93 season as runners-up with 34 points behind Norma, who claimed their second league title with 42 points.

In 1993, Roman Ubakivi was hired as manager. One round before the end of the 1993–94 season, Tevalte, who led the Meistriliiga table at the time, was controversially disqualified over match fixing allegations by a decision of the Estonian Football Association. The season ended with Flora and Norma both on equal 36 points. Flora won the Championship Playoff match 5–2 and was awarded the league title. They made their European debut in the 1994–95 UEFA Cup, losing 0–6 on aggregate to Odense in the preliminary round. Flora managed to defend the title in the 1994–95 season and won the 1994–95 Estonian Cup, beating Lantana-Marlekor 2–0 in the final.[5]

In January 1996, Teitur Thordarson replaced Ubakivi as a manager. Disappointing start in the 1995–96 season left the team in second place behind Lantana. Lembit Rajala won the goal scoring title with 16 goals. Flora finished the 1996–97 season in second place behind Lantana once again, while Mart Poom broke the club record by keeping a clean sheet for 756 minutes. The club won their first league title under Thordarson in the 1997–98 season. The league format was changed in 1998, and Flora managed win another title in the same calendar year. Flora also competed in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the 1998–99 season, narrowly losing to Steaua București 4–5 on aggregate in the first qualifying round.The club added another Estonian Cup trophy after defeating Lantana 3–2 in the finals. Flora also met Italian Milan in a friendly match, ending in a 1–2 defeat. Since 1999, Meistriliiga adopted the current league format with the season running from Spring to Autumn within a single calendar year. Andres Oper, the club's top goalscorer in three previous seasons, left the team in July. The 1999 season was unsuccessful; Flora placed third, while Levadia won the title and Tulevik came in second. In 2000, Tarmo Rüütli was hired as the new manager. Under Rüütli, Flora finished the 2000 season second, behind Levadia, who won the title without a single loss during the season.[5]

New stadium and new era[edit]

In 2001, a new era began for Flora as the club moved to the new A. Le Coq Arena (Lilleküla Stadium). Rüütli returned to Tulevik and was replaced as manager by Arno Pijpers. Under Pijpers, Flora won three consecutive Meistriliiga titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003. In the 2003 season, Flora won the league without losing a single league match, extending their unbeaten run from the previous season to 37, while Tor Henning Hamre scored record 39 goals in a season. Pijpers left Flora in September 2004, before the end of the 2004 season and was replaced by Janno Kivisild. The team failed to defend the title for another season, finishing in third place, despite Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko winning another goal scoring title for the club with 28 goals.[5]

The 2005 season was unsuccessful as Flora placed fourth, 26 points behind the league champions TVMK. This was the first time Flora didn't win a Meistriliiga medal since 1992. After the disappointing season, Kivisild was replaced by Pasi Rautiainen. In the 2006–07 UEFA Cup, Flora defeated Lyn Oslo 1–1 on aggregate on away goals in the first qualifying round, before losing to Brøndby 0–4 on aggregate in the second qualifying round. The club finished the 2006 season in third place and placed second in the 2007 season. In 2007, Flora also suffered their biggest margin of defeat in the Meistriliiga thus far, losing 0–6 against TVMK. Flora finished the 2008 season in second place, behind Levadia once again, despite amassing 91 points and scoring 113 goals. Tarmo Rüütli returned to Flora for the 2009 season, but failed to guide the club to winning the league, placing fourth. The club was more successful in the Estonian Cup, winning the trophy in 2008 and 2009.[5]

Recent history[edit]

In 2010, Rüütli was replaced as manager by the former Flora player and Estonia national team record cap holder Martin Reim. Under Reim, rejuvenated Flora ended the reign of Levadia who had won the four previous Meistriliiga titles and won the leagie in the 2010 season, while Sander Post won the goal scoring title with 24 goals. Flora successfully defended their title in the 2011 season and won the 2010–11 Estonian Cup, defeating Narva Trans 2–0 in the final. Flora finished the 2012 season in third place, behind the winners Nõmme Kalju and Levadia. Reim left the club and Marko Lelov was hired as the new manager. Lelov won the 2012–13 Estonian Cup in April but was sacked on 20 July after disappointing results in the league. He was replaced by Norbert Hurt, initially as a caretaker manager, with position being made permanent later. Flora finished the 2013 season in fourth place and placed third in the 2014 season.[5] In 2015, Flora celebrated their 25th anniversary as a club by winning their 10th league title in the 34th round of the season.[6] They also won the 2015–16 Estonian Cup, defeating Sillamäe Kalev 3–0 in extra time in the final.[7] On 26 May 2016, Aivar Pohlak resigned from the club's presidency and was succeeded by his son Pelle Pohlak.[8] In the first qualifying round of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, Flora lost 2–3 on aggregate to Lincoln Red Imps, after which Hurt resigned and was replaced by Argo Arbeiter.[9][10] Flora finished the disappointing 2016 season in fourth place. On 10 November 2016, Arbeiter was sacked and Arno Pijpers took over as manager in January 2017.[11]

Crest[edit]

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Winners (10): 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010, 2011, 2015
Runners-up (6): 1992–93, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2000, 2007, 2008
Third place (5): 1999, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2014
Winners (7): 1994–95, 1997–98, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2015–16
Runners-up (4): 2000–01, 2002–03, 2005–06, 2009–10
Winners (9): 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016
Runners-up (3): 1999, 2006, 2010

Regional[edit]

Winners (1): 2011
Runners-up (2): 2003, 2004

Stadium[edit]

A. Le Coq Arena[edit]

Estonia and Brazil playing at A. Le Coq Arena
Main article: A. Le Coq Arena

The club's home ground is the 10,340-seat Lilleküla Stadium, known as A. Le Coq Arena for sponsorship reasons. It is the largest football stadium in Estonia. Besides the stadium there is a training base with two grass surface and two artificial turf training pitches. Lilleküla Stadium is also used by the Estonian Football Association to host Estonia national football team matches and has been used to host concerts.

The stadium is located in Lilleküla, at Asula street 4c, Tallinn.[12]

Flora uses Sportland Arena artificial turf, situated across from the A. Le Coq Arena, during winter and early spring months for training and home matches.

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 31 January 2017.[13]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Estonia DF Märten Kuusk
3 Estonia MF Jan Kokla
4 Estonia DF Kevin Aloe
5 Estonia DF Mairo Miil
6 Estonia MF German Šlein
7 Estonia MF Martin Miller
8 Estonia FW Hannes Anier
9 Estonia FW Rauno Alliku
10 Estonia MF Brent Lepistu (captain)
11 Estonia FW Rauno Sappinen
13 Estonia GK Ingmar Krister Paplavskis
17 Estonia DF Marco Lukka
19 Estonia DF Gert Kams
No. Position Player
20 Estonia MF Maksim Gussev
21 Estonia DF Madis Vihmann
23 Estonia MF Mihkel Ainsalu
27 Estonia DF Joseph Saliste
31 Estonia DF Joonas Tamm
33 Estonia GK Richard Aland
35 Estonia MF Markus Poom
45 Estonia DF Henri Järvelaid
47 Estonia FW Pavel Fedorenko
49 Georgia (country) MF Zakaria Beglarishvili
50 Estonia FW Erik Sorga
72 Estonia MF Herol Riiberg
73 Estonia GK Mait Toom

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Reserves and academy[edit]

Further information: FC Flora U21 and FC Flora U19

Retired numbers[edit]

12 – Club supporters (the 12th Man)

Personnel[edit]

Seasons and statistics[edit]

League and Cup[edit]

Meistriliiga

Europe[edit]

Player records[edit]

As of 5 November 2016.[14] Active players in bold.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A. Le Coq Arena staadion ja tribüünihoone" (in Estonian). Eesti Spordiregister. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Kes on kes?". fcflora.ee. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ametlik: Arno Pijpersist sai taaskord Flora peatreener". soccernet.ee. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Saavutused" (in Estonian). FC Flora. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Ajalugu" (in Estonian). FC Flora. 
  6. ^ "FC Flora on Eesti meister 2015!" (in Estonian). FC Flora. 
  7. ^ "Flora võitis karikafinaalis Sillamäed lisaajal 3:0" (in Estonian). FC Flora. 21 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "FC Flora sai uue presidendi" (in Estonian). Soccernet.ee. 26 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Norbert Hurt paneb Flora peatreeneri ameti maha" (in Estonian). Soccernet.ee. 8 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Flora nimetas uueks peatreeneriks Argo Arbeiteri" (in Estonian). Soccernet.ee. 13 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Ametlik: Arno Pijpersist sai taaskord Flora peatreener". soccernet.ee. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "A. Le Coq Arena" (in Estonian). FC Flora. 
  13. ^ "FC Flora esindusmeeskond". FC Flora. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Kõik FC Flora mängijad - FC Flora". fcflora.ee. Retrieved 6 February 2017. 

External links[edit]