• Kyodo

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Kashiwa Reysol, who were recently relegated to the J. League second division, announced Thursday that former manager Nelsinho will take the helm for the second time starting next season.

Nelsinho, who left the club in 2014 to manage Vissel Kobe, guided Reysol back to the top flight with a J2 title in 2010 and led the team to a first-division championship the following season.

The 68-year-old Brazilian said through the club that his goal will be to once again help Kashiwa return to the top flight.

Former Japan defender Masami Ihara, who managed J2 side Avispa Fukuoka for the past four seasons, will also return as Nelsinho’s assistant.

“I strongly support Nelsinho and will devote everything I have to getting back to J1 in one year,” Ihara, 51, said.

Under Nelsinho, Kashiwa won the Emperor’s Cup in the 2012 season and the Nabisco Cup (now the Levain Cup) in 2013.

Nelsinho was fired as Vissel’s manager early in the 2017 season with the club performing poorly, despite having acquired former Germany striker Lukas Podolski.

He managed Verdy Kawasaki (now Tokyo Verdy) and Nagoya Grampus prior to his first stint with Reysol.

Kashiwa dismissed Takahiro Shimotaira as manager in May and replaced his successor, Nozomu Kato, with the club’s academy coach Ken Iwase last month. Reysol finished 17th in the 18-team top flight and were relegated to J2 for the first time in nine seasons.

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