Soccer

New Japan goalkeeping coach Lugusic confident of ability to elevate players' level

Kyodo

New national team goalkeeping coach Enver Lugusic arrived in Japan on Friday eager to make a swift impact and improve the level of the country’s shot stoppers.

“I am certain that Japan can get to the (2018) World Cup in Russia and I want to quickly raise the level of Japan’s goalkeepers,” the 55-year-old Lugusic told reporters at Haneda airport.

“There are good goalkeepers in Japan and hopefully I can unearth some young talent. I want to draw on my experience.”

Lugusic, like Japan head coach Vahid Halilhodzic, hails from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

He has twice been the Bosnian senior national team’s goalkeeping coach and held that position when Bosnia beat Japan 2-1 in the final of the four-nation Kirin Cup in June.

Lugusic has also worked in Asia at clubs in China, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

He has been hired as the contract of Spaniard Ricardo Lopez, who started his work on the coaching staff under former Japan coach Javier Aguirre, expires at the end of this month.

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