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Teguramori named Japan U-21 national team coach

Kyodo

The Japan Football Association decided at its executive board meeting Thursday to hand Vegalta Sendai manager Makoto Teguramori the task of guiding the men’s Under-21 national team to a place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 45-year-old Teguramori, who will leave Sendai at the end of this season, will be given a contract from Jan. 2, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2016.

He will also work as an assistant coach for the senior national team after next year’s World Cup.

Teguramori has been in charge of Vegalta since 2008, when they were still in the J.League second division, and he led Sendai to a club-best second place last season.

“(Teguramori) pulled the team together well at a really difficult time in Sendai after the (March 2011 earthquake and tsunami) disaster,” said JFA technical director Hiromi Hara.

“He really knows how to get players to face the same direction and is a suitable choice as Olympic team coach.”

Sendai are currently eighth in the J1 table with 41 points, 12 behind leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

At the 2012 London Olympics, Japan lost to South Korea in the bronze-medal match.