Getting ready to a full-scale Season!

Ste­pan Tšern­ous­sov, FC Cos­mos (Tallinn) Gen­eral Man­ager, speaks on the oncom­ing start of the Esto­nian cham­pi­on­ship, on the play­ers’ condi­tion, and on the upcom­ing sea­son spe­cif­ics in terms of the cur­rent epi­demi­o­lo­gic situ­a­tion in the coun­try.

— Has the national cham­pi­on­ship been already sched­uled? How will the sched­ule be fol­lowed in the light of pan­demic?

— The Esto­nian cham­pi­on­ship cal­en­dar has been made by now. The first round is sched­uled on Octo­ber 31. All the highest divi­sion teams start on the same day. We are hav­ing our first play in Tartu versus Ravens whom we met in play­offs quarterfi­nal last sea­son. The num­ber of coronavirus patients is con­tinu­ally grow­ing in Esto­nia, but there are no any global restric­tions yet. Hav­ing a total lock­down in early March with 80-100 COVID-19 cases, we have noth­ing of the kind now (Note: with 30-40 news cases daily in Octo­ber). For instance, the Meistri­liiga (Premium League) con­tin­ues with fans admit­ted without even any talks of post­pone­ment. So, we are get­t­ing ready to start the sea­son accord­ing to the pre­pared sched­ule.

— That is, the fans will be able to attends matches without any lim­its begin­n­ing from the very first round, will they?

— There still may be some restric­tions or lim­it­a­tions in regard to the num­ber of vis­it­ors, for we play indoors which is more chal­len­ging than out­door foot­ball, being an enclosed space. But we have got no dir­ec­tions by the Esto­nian Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion in this regard what­so­ever so far.

— Is there any san­it­ary pro­tocol for a cham­pi­on­ship in the cur­rent condi­tions, then?

— Non has been adop­ted yet, but the clubs may be provided with cer­tain reg­u­la­tions a week or two before the first round, I sup­pose. Team rep­res­ent­at­ives shall have a meet­ing before the sea­son start that a san­it­ary pro­tocol may be adop­ted or some def­in­ite guidelines given at.

— The sea­son starts rather late due to epi­demi­o­lo­gic threat. Will the teams have to adapt their reg­u­lar life cycle to such extraordin­ary sched­ule?

— Indeed, to a cer­tain extent. But we are ready for a long sea­son. Even if last­ing till May or June it will pose no dif­fi­culty for us. We can start later, we can fin­ish later, we can even do without a break between sea­sons.

— How do Cos­mos pre­pare to the new sea­son in the cur­rent condi­tions?

— We have got a two-week out­door train­ing ses­sion to improve phys­ical condi­tion. Last week we star­ted indoor train­ing, and we have rather many a player involved which is great. Unfor­tu­nately, lit­erally yes­terday Alex­an­der Vtor­ushin, Baltic Cyber­fut­sal League Cham­pion in singles, was injured with a mal­leolar frac­ture and had to leave even before the sea­son is star­ted, accord­ingly. Besides, our Coach Sergey Svetlov still can­not cross the closed Rus­sian bor­der to arrive in Tallinn and man­ages the train­ing pro­cess remotely.

— Will you have any test play before the sea­son start?

— We are talk­ing to poten­tial spar­ring teams to have three test plays before the sea­son begins.

— Will there be new­comers to the team?

— We are wait­ing for two play­ers for evalu­a­tion, but atop of them we have quite a crowd at the train­ing ses­sions. Say, there were 19 yes­terday! Tak­ing into account the second BFL sea­son, we will be very busy and there­fore are con­ten­ted to have the set of play­ers com­plete.

Igor Smirnov

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