Following standout performances as part of PSC’s European Elite Showcase squad in Spain, twin brothers Ethan and Aaron Russ have signed in Estonia with JK Tallina Kallev.
The midfielders impressed enough both on and off the field during a two-week tour in Spain to be offered playing contracts with the top tier side. Whilst in Spain, the brothers were coached by Kallev Sporting Director Joel Lindpere (Former MLS and Estonian National Team player) & Head Coach Aivar Anniste (Former Estonian National Team player), who were quickly convinced to offer contracts at the conclusion of the tour.
We caught up with the Russ brothers after arriving in Estonia to hear their thoughts on moving to Estoina, signing professionally, and having your brother join you for the trip:
What are you most looking forward to about playing in Estonia?
“We’re looking forward to experiencing the footballing culture of Estonia first hand. We’ve had a lot practice adjusting to new cultures and learning how to make anywhere feel like home, it also doesn’t hurt to have your twin brother along for the journey.”
Like many PSC players in 2020, both players saw their showcasing opportunities delayed until the Spring of 2021. How did you cope with that?
“There were definitely some feelings of disappointment at times having the tours get postponed, but overall we were very blessed as a lot of others faced much tougher circumstances during those times. Being twins also puts us in a unique spot because we have each other for motivation. We saw the extra time brought by the postponements as an opportunity to improve even more before the tour.”
During the tour, you had the opportunity to work directly with your new Head Coach & Sporting director; Joel Lindpere & Aivar Anniste. Tell us about that:
“It was a pleasure working with them and they helped improve our games lot. Anytime you can get new perspectives, tactics, and techniques is a great learning experience. Also being able to learn from such high quality coaches who were also successful professional players was incredibly beneficial as they gave insights for both what it takes to be a successful team and individual.”
How did you find traveling internationally to be a part of a showcase during a pandemic like this?
“Travel into Spain was very smooth. PSC did a great job informing us on what documents and paperwork was needed for travel, so once we got all of that sorted out it was smooth sailing from there on. Off the field logistics were also great. There was time to go into town to get any necessities. Meals were also run incredibly smoothly. There was more than enough food and it was quickly distributed to each player with accommodations to all food allergies.”
Would you recommend the tour to other players aspiring for a professional career?
“We would both definitely recommend the tour. It is an incredible opportunity to showcase yourself in a professional environment. The number of contacts, coaches, and scouts watching you for an extended period of time is priceless.”
Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge at this time?
“First and foremost all glory, honor, and thanks to God. We’d also like to thank our family and friends, especially our parents for all of the love and support they have given us and for the sacrifices they made to allow us to chance our dream. To all our coaches and teammates throughout the years. All of the PSC staff and coaches that made the tour possible. To all the players we played with on tour. And to Coach Joel and Coach Aivar for giving us this opportunity to play for Tallinn Kalev.”