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Urawa hires ex-Sanfrecce boss

Kyodo

Urawa Reds have hired former Sanfrecce Hiroshima manager Milhailo Petrovic as the new manager of the J. League first division club, sources familiar with the deal said Wednesday.

The 54-year-old Austrian took charge at Hiroshima in June 2006 and after the team was relegated in 2008, led Sanfrecce to a fourth-place finish in the top flight in 2009.

Urawa, which placed a disappointing 15th this season, had pursued former Japan coach Takeshi Okada and former Gamba Osaka manager Akira Nishino for the position but was turned down by both.

In October, Reds fired manager Zeljko Petrovic, who took the job this season, following the team’s lackluster performance. Urawa youth team manager Takafumi Hori took over from the Montenegrin and the club barely escaped relegation.