With the Umaglesi Liga season over, Czech coach Dušan Uhrin will leave FC Dinamo Tbilisi with head held high after his side took the Georgian title.
The 65-year-old, who led the Czech Republic to the final of EURO '96™, finished his three-campaign spell as Dinamo coach with a 2-0 win at relegated FC Dila Gori on 20 May. He had already announced his resignation, saying: "I'm afraid I won't be able to sign a contract extension because of health problems. I'm proud of my work here and I'm very happy that we were able to regain the title".
The manner of Dinamo's triumph was impressive indeed. Crowned champions with two games to spare, they lost just two of their 26 league matches, winning 23. Boasting the division's leading marksman in 16-goal Mikheil Khutsishvili, they ended up ten points clear of runners-up FC WIT Georgia, although Nestor Mumladze's men had taken their eye off the ball somewhat in the closing stages.
A UEFA Cup place is some consolation for WIT, though they had hoped for more at the start of the season. They lost two of their last three league fixtures – the last, admittedly, when they fielded little more than a reserve team against Koba Tediashvili's Meskheti FC, who like fellow newcomers FC Mglebi Zugdidi earned a comfortable mid-table finish.
Ups and downs
FC Zestaponi came third, having already secured a UEFA Cup berth by beating FC Ameri Tbilisi in the Georgian Cup final. Meanwhile, FC Merani Tbilisi and FC Dinamo Batumi have been relegated along with rock-bottom Dila. FC Magaroeli Chiatura were promoted as first division champions while runners-up FC Gagr take on FC Spartaki Tskhinvali in a promotion/relegation play-off, with the league being reduced from 14 to 12 teams for 2008/09.
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