Levadia take Italian option

FC Levadia Maardu have appointed Franco Pancheri as their new coach along with two high-profile assistants.

Inter link
Pancheri, a former Internazionale FC player and later the club's youth coach, has signed a two-year deal with the Estonian first division runners-up. His appointment strengthens further the links between Levadia and the Nerazzurri, who, under Pancheri's charge, helped organise a summer camp for youngsters in Tallinn last summer.

Assistant coaches
In his playing days, Pancheri, now 44, won the Serie A title with Inter in 1979/80 and he later played for Udinese Calcio and US Cremonese. The former defender will be assisted by Rüütli - who has left his post at JK Tulevik Viljandi to join Levadia - and the 36-year-old Kirs, who worked last season as youth coach at first division FC Elva. Both men have also signed two-year contracts.

Nahk move
Levadia were left without a coach when Pasi Rautiainen decided to return to Finland for family reasons, and joined FC Jokerit. He has since been joined in Finland by midfield player Konstantin Nahk who left Levadia on a free.

Pleasant surprise
Levadia's managing director Indrek Petersoo said: "We were actually surprised to hear Pancheri's 'yes', as we concentrated on more realistic options and did not really think that a coach from Internazionale would come to Estonia."

Coaching changes
This week has brought other coaching changes in Estonia, with Sergei Zamogilnõi leaving FC Kuressaare to replace Gennadi Molodov at JK Trans Narva. The 49-year-old Zamogilnõi guided Kuressaare to promotion this season, but his family wanted a return to the northeast of Estonia and he signed a one-year deal with Trans. Jan Vazinski and Aavo Sarap have taken over at Kuressaare.