SAITAMA (Kyodo) Yasuhiro Higuchi has resigned as manager of Omiya Ardija, the J. League first-division club said Sunday.

Higuchi was appointed manager this term after two seasons at the helm of second-division Montedio Yamagata, but Omiya flirted with relegation before finally finishing 12th in the 18-team standings after Saturday’s crucial 1-0 win away to Jubilo Iwata.

The Saitama club also announced an end-of-season overhaul with former Japan striker Keita Yoshihara, fellow forward Hiroshi Morita and midfielder Naoya Saeki among nine players not being offered new deals for next season.

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