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Sanfrecce appoint old boy Jonsson as manager

Kyodo

Former Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder Jan Jonsson has been appointed the club’s new manager, the J. League first-division side said Monday.

The 57-year-old Swede arrived in Hiroshima in 1993 initially as an assistant coach, but wound up playing six games and scoring once for the team later in the season. He also juggled the two roles with Vissel Kobe from 1995 to 1997.

Jonsson will join Sanfrecce on July 18 in time for the League Cup playoff game against FC Tokyo at Ajinomoto Stadium on July 26.

He replaces Hajime Moriyasu, who had signed a contract extension through the 2018 season but stunned the club by submitting his resignation last week with Hiroshima wallowing in the relegation zone in 17th place.

Jonsson said in a statement that he realizes Sanfrecce, who have just two wins from the first 18 games of the campaign, are in a “very difficult” situation.

“It is a huge honor and a privilege to be returning to the J. League with Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who helped me become what I am today,” said Jonsson, who spent most of his playing career with Swedish side Halmstads BK.

“Together with the coaching staff and players, I hope we can head in the direction we should be heading in by preparing us as well we possibly can.”

Jonsson returned to Europe in 1998, going on to manage clubs in the Swedish and Norwegian first divisions.