PREVIEW | Flora Tallinn v Shamrock Rovers - UEFA Europa Conference League

15th November 2023

Shamrock Rovers fly the flag for the SSE Airtricity League as they head into the UEFA Conference League Play-Off Round, first leg in Estonia on Thursday.  The Hoops take on Estonian champions Flora Tallin in the two-legged affair with a place in the

Shamrock Rovers fly the flag for the SSE Airtricity League as they head into the UEFA Conference League Play-Off Round, first leg in Estonia on Thursday. 

The Hoops take on Estonian champions Flora Tallin in the two-legged affair with a place in the group stages of the inaugural competition up for grabs.

Rovers advanced from the last round with an impressive 3-0 aggregate victory over Teuta of Albania, marking a third straight victory in European competition. Flora drop down from the Europa League following their penalty shoot-out defeat to Cypriot champions Omonia Nicosia last week.

Thursday’s match kicks-off at 5pm Irish time and the match is live on Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Player. 

The second leg takes place at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday, August 26th with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Opposition Overview

Flora Tallinn are the most successful team in their domestic league with 13 titles including last year’s success, eight Estonian Cups and 11 Estonian Supercups. The club was one of the founding members of the Estonian Meistriliga in 1990 and play their home games at the Lilleküla Stadium which has a capacity of just over 14,000 and is home to the Estonian national team.  

Thursday's hosts currently sit in second position in the league, twelve points behind rivals Levadia but with three games in hand. In their 17 games so far this campaign, Flora have won twelve, drawn four and lost just once which came this weekend against eight placed Kuressaare.

The Defence

Flora have conceded the fewest goals (11) in their league this term, averaging 0.7 goals per game. Two of these were penalties and nine from open play.

Additionally, they have the fewest shots (7.64 per game), second lowest fouls (10.76 per game) and fewest ball losses in the Meistriliga pointing to a well-disciplined defence.


Flora have an average of 54.8% possession domestically and average 456.87 passes per game with 83.8% success. They account for the lowest number of long passes (42.26 per game) in the league coupled with the most passes to the final third (65.94 per 90 mins) and through passes (8.59 per 90 mins).

Henrik Ojamaa is Flora’s key man to get the ball moving with 15 key passes, 20 smart passes and 29 deep completions this in their opening 17 games.


On the attacking front, Flora have had 226 shots this campaign with 45.6% on target rate. With an average of 22.47 touches in the penalty area per 90 mins, this is the highest in the league and with four penalties in 17 outings, Rovers will need to be wary of the threat.

Flora’s main goal threat is Estonian international Rauno Sappinen who has 12 goals in 16 appearances this year. Sappinen also notched up Flora’s two goals in the last round against Omonia Nicosia.

Flora in Europe

It is not the first time the Hoops take on Flora, having defeated them 1-0 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League Second Qualifying Round in 2011. Rovers advanced thanks to a 1-0 home win with the goal coming courtesy of Chris Turner. Current Hoops Alan Manus and Ronan Finn both featured and Rovers will be hoping for a similar European outcome and group stage football once again in 2021.

This term, Flora progressed in the Champions League First Qualifying Round with a 5-0 aggregate victory over Maltese side Hibernians before losing 3-1 to Legia Warsaw. The 2020/2021 campaign saw the Estonians reach the Play-Off round of the Europa League losing to Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb.

Lilleküla Stadium

Flora’s home venue has been a happy hunting ground for Tallaght natives with goals from Richard Dunne (2001) and two from Robbie Keane in 2012). The first visit for the Republic of Ireland was on route to the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Mick McCarthy’s 2-0 winners in the away fixture. The most recent Irish visit was the play-off for EURO 2012 when Keane bagged a brace in a resounding 4-0 victory.

Key Player - Henrik Ojamaa

Ojamaa is an attacking midfielder who has played much of the season on the left-hand side. In his first season with Flora this year, the Estonian has already recorded seven assists, notched up 15 key passes and averages 8.04 1 v 1 dribbles per game.

The 30-year-old started his youth career at Flora before moving to the Derby County academy in 2007. Despite winning Scholar of the Year at Derby, Ojamaa failed to breakthrough and has subsequently had spell with clubs including Motherwell, Legia Warsaw and Swindon Town. The Estonian international has amassed over 40 appearances for his country  

Manager - Jürgen Henn

At 34 years of age Henn is among one of the youngest managers in Europe. Following a short playing career, Henn put his energy into coaching and became manager of Flora III in 2012 before progressing to Assistant Manager to the first team in 2013. Henn took the first team reins in January 2018 and has guided Flora to the title in 2019 and 2020 alongside the Estonian Cup 2019/2020. Last season like Rovers they suffered a Cup final defeat, losing to Levadia who Dundalk eliminated in Europa Conference League Qualifying Round Two.