Viikmäe joins Flora cause

Estonian international striker Kristen Viikmäe has rejoined Arno Pijpers' FC Flora on loan.

'A good deal'
The 24-year-old has returned to his old club to get match practice for the remainder of the Estonian season, and will be available for Flora's UEFA Champions League campaign. "Flora do not have to pay loan fee and Kristen's salary is paid by Vålerenga," said Flora president Aivar Pohlak. "So it is a good deal for us prior to the qualifiers."

Limited opportunities
In three seasons of football with the Norwegian club, who he joined in August 2000, Viikmäe has managed just 31 appearances and four goals. While he has performed well for Estonia, he is yet to earn a regular place in the Vålerenga team. "The club does not trust me," said Viikmäe. "I have worked very hard and I am certainly not weaker than any other striker in the team."

Estonian return
The son of another fine Estonian striker, Tõnu Viikmäe, Kristian Viikmäe first joined Flora in 1997, and scored 26 goals in 86 games for the Tallinn club before being sold to Vålerenga. He admitted he had mixed feelings about his return to Estonia. "It is a good chance for me to come back and get match practice again, although it might seem like a step back in my career," he said.

Next challenge
Flora play FC Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova in their Champions League first qualifying round tie, with the first leg taking place in Moldova on 16 July.