A record number of clubs will be involved as the 2006 season gets under way in Estonia, with 147 men's teams and 14 women's teams taking part.
The Meistriliiga will kick off with a game which has been brought forward from the 19th round of fixtures and will see reigning champions FC TVMK Tallinn take on league newcomers JK Vaprus Pärnu. The first full round of matches takes place on 12 March with the season set to end with the Supercup game on 19 November.
In the run-up to the new season, FC Valga have changed their name to FC Warrior Valga while a change of sponsor has seen JK Merkuur Tartu become JK Maag Tartu. The club's staff is expected to remain the same despite the involvement of the AS Maag group, who produce and distribute food in the south of Estonia and are better known as the main backers of successful volleyball team Pere Leib Tartu.
Meanwhile, deposed champions FC Levadia Tallinn will be looking to steal TVMK's crown in 2006 having agreed two-year contracts with two of their rivals' top players. Estonian international Maksim Smirnov and former Under-21 player Deniss Malov both refused new contracts with TVMK in the winter and joined their neighbours.
Levadia have acquired eight new players during the winter months with only two minor players departing. Along with Smirnov and Malov, the club have signed Lithuanians Modestas Stonys and Darius Regelskis, former Estonia captain Marek Lemsalu and talented youngsters Sergei Lepmets, Kristian Marmor and Nikita Andrejev.
Meanwhile, JK Trans Narva have said farewell to goalkeeper Sergei Ussoltsev who has joined Finnish first division side PP-70 Tampere. The 30-year-old broke Mart Poom's national record by going 889 minutes without conceding a Meistriliiga goal last season. In total he has played 257 Meistriliiga games, and has kept a record 110 clean sheets.
Finally, after his assistant Janno Kivisild left to join his old boss Arno Pijpers in Kazakhstan, Estonia coach Jelle Goes has named a new second in command. The 42-year-old former HFC Haarlem assistant coach Bart Logchies has signed a one-year deal with the Estonian Football Association, joining Marko Kristal and Sunderland AFC goalkeeping coach Tim Carter on Goes' bench.