Slag. The Polish Champion can help them. They are counting on the awakening of foreigners

After the relegation from eWinner 1. Liga Optibet Lokomotiv Daugavpils finished the struggle in the lowest division in the fourth place. During the winter break, the Latvians lost their leading players. Will they be able to improve the result?

David Cysarz

David Cysarz

Francis Gusts

WP SportoweFakty / Michał Krupa / In the photo: Francis Gusts

Optibet Lokomotiv Daugavpils tactical analysis prepared by WP SportoweFakty.


After the relegation from eWinner of the 1st Liga, the team from Daugavpils was mentioned as the most serious competitor of OK Bedmet Kolejarza Opole in the fight for promotion. Unfortunately for Latvian fans, Optibet Lokomotiv was disappointing after a good start to the season.

In the end, the Latvians managed to advance to the play-offs with a throw at the tape, but they were eliminated in it after the semi-final match against Opole.

It can be difficult to repeat this achievement. Many teams have made a major boost and two of the top players have left the Optibet Lokomotiv squad. Oleg Mikhailov passed to Abramczyk Polonia Bydgoszcz, and Francis Gusts to Betard Sparta Wrocław.

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Loaning talent is a big chance

It is possible, however, that the young Latvian will be loaned to the team from Daugavpils (more HERE). Gusts’ return to the squad would open up a lot of tactical possibilities for coach Nikolai Kokin.

The talented player last season successfully replaced the seniors of the Latvian club, recording a double-digit number of points on his account. Such a youth is a treasure.

Acquiring Gusts would offer many tactical options. At the moment, the national seniors seem to be the least populated formation. Out of the contracted players, only Yevgeny Kostygov regularly scored good points, but after a great start he also cut down on flights. Nevertheless, he is sure to be in the line-up.

Kjastas Puodżuks and Daniil Kolodinski may have big problems with scoring points. It seems that in the absence of Gusts, they will be fighting for a place in the squad. Kokin can also benefit from solid juniors and replace weaker seniors, as it often did in 2021.

Foreigners are a big unknown

Last season, Tomas H. Jonasson and Hans Andersen did not live up to their hopes. They both left the Optibet Lokomotiv. In their place, three other players were contracted, but each of them is a big one.

Nick Morris took part in the Polish league for the last time in 2019, when he was the ROW Rybnik speedway rider. The Australian presents himself very well in the matches of his British teams, but he will have to translate this into his disposition in the Polish league. He is a candidate for the leader of the Latvian team.

Adam Ellis also has a recognized brand in the British Isles. After all, he is the current individual British champion, but he too has had problems with regular, good driving in Poland for years. For the last two years he was a player of Stal Rzeszów. In the first season, he only got four chances to start, but after a great start, weaker games and an injury followed. Rene Bach also had a break from starts in Poland. In 2020, he was a player of OK Bedmet Kolejarza Opole.

All three foreigners were included in our expected Optibet Lokomotiv ranking. All of them are to be the driving force of the Latvian team.

Promotion to the play-offs will be a success for the team from Daugavpils. Borrowing Gusts may help to achieve this result. He is a player who should score around ten points every game. It could successfully replace weaker seniors.

Ricards Ansviesulis and Ernest Matjuszonok have shown their potential more than once. However, they have to make a lot of progress and regularly be a solid support of the Latvian club’s seniors.

Composition of Optibet Lokomotiv Daugavpils:
1. Kjastas Puodżuks / Daniil Kolodinski
2. Adam Ellis
3. Nick Morris
4. Rene Bach
5. Yevgeny Kostygov
6. Ernest Matjuszonok
7. Ricards Ansviesulis

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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