Soccer / J. League

Ventforet's Sakuma to relinquish coaching duties


Moments after his club defied relegation for a fourth consecutive season on Thursday, Ventforet Kofu manager Satoru Sakuma stated he will no longer serve as the J. League first-division club’s manager.

“Next season will be entrusted to a new coach,” said the 53-year-old Sakuma, who will focus on his role as general manager.

Sakuma has been asked to fulfill both the general manager’s duties and the manager’s since May 2015, when the club fired Yasuhiro Higuchi.

According to a team source, the names of 42-year-old former Albirex Niigata manager Tatsuma Yoshida and 52-year-old former Shimizu S-Pulse boss Afshin Ghotbi have been citedas potential successors.

“I want to consider candidates who have a concrete style who have applied it with either a top team or with an academy,” Sakuma said.