Estonian football coach Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko has achieved a rare feat by guiding his club Real de Banjul to the Gambian championship title.
While 21 Estonian footballers have previously won titles abroad, with a total of 31 trophies between them, it is much rarer to see an Estonian coach winning a championship with a foreign club. Under Zahovaiko, who coached Estonian top-flight side Paide Linnameeskond from 2017-21, Real de Banjul also ended a nine-year title drought, having last won the Gambian championship in 2014, Soccernet.ee reports.
When closest rivals Abuko Falcons lost three in a row ahead of the final round of league matches, Banjul found themselves with a golden opportunity to clinch the title.
Going into the last game of the season Zahovaiko knew that a draw against city rivals Waa Banjul would be enough to win the league on goal difference. Thus, even though Falcons recorded a 4-2 away against mid-table Steve Biko, Real got the 0-0 draw they needed to confirm the victory.
Real de Banjul are among the most successful clubs in Gambian football history, having now won 13 league titles.
As a player, Vjatšeslav Zahovaiko made 39 appearances for the Estonian national team between 2003 and 2011, scoring eight goals.
More about Real de Banjul's Gambian title win can be found on Soccernet.ee (in Estonian) here.
Editor: Michael Cole