• Kyodo


Albirex Niigata said Monday they have hired former Jubilo Iwata skipper Masaaki Yanagishita as the new manager of the slumping J. League first-division club.

The 52-year-old Yanagishita will join the team on Tuesday, taking over the reins after Hisashi Kurosaki resigned last month to take responsibility for Albirex’s lackluster performance.

“I am taking over in midstream but I feel this will present a great challenge,” said Yanagishita. “I will fight so that the club can remain playing in the top division next season.”

Nobihiro Ueno, who took over as caretaker head coach after Kurosaki’s resignation, will be reinstated as the Niigata youth team coach.

Yanagishita first coached Jubilo in 2003 before managing then-second-division Consadole Sapporo for three seasons from 2004. He returned to the Yamaha club as manager in 2009 and steered it to victory in the Nabisco Cup the following year.

Niigata currently has a record of 2-8 with three draws for a total nine points, and languishes in 17th place in the 18-team J1 table.

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