Estonia have parted company with coach Frank Bernhardt with less than four months to go until they host the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, with former senior national boss Arno Pijpers coming in as his replacement.
The pinnacle of Bernhardt's tenure saw the German guide Estonia to the elite round in 2009 and 2011, but his fate was sealed following heavy friendly defeats in Belgium. "Frank has done five years of good work, but there is no coach who wouldn't have reached his limit after five years," said Estonian Football Association (EJL) president Aivar Pohlak. "It was a very hard decision."
Pijpers, whose own five-year stint at the helm of the Estonian national team ended in 2005, said: "We need more experience in the side so we can play with more balance. I will follow my predecessor's plan but will make some minor adjustments." The 52-year-old Dutchman has also had spells with Kazakhstan, FC Astana and, most recently, Willem II in his homeland.
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