Kawasaki manager Kazama to step down after season


Kawasaki Frontale manager Yahiro Kazama will step down at the end of the season when his five-year contract expires, the J. League first-division club announced Wednesday.

The 54-year-old, who assumed the role from Naoki Soma early in the 2012 season, was asked to stay but replied that he wanted to end his chapter at Frontale and has already informed the players of his decision.

Kazama has yet to win a trophy during his tenure but has established a brand of attacking soccer at Todoroki Stadium. His side is currently second in the overall standings, a point behind Urawa Reds, with three games to go.

“The players have matured since I took over and I believe we’ve become a unique side,” Kazama said in a statement. “All the conditions had to be met for that. It’s not an easy thing, but the fans and everyone associated with the club supported us, for which I have gratitude.

“We still have a battle to fight and we’ll give everything we have for the matches in front of us.”

Kawasaki has already sealed its place in the J. League Championship.