• Kyodo

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Vegalta Sendai has reappointed their former manager Makoto Teguramori, who guided them to their best-ever second-place finish in 2012, the J. League top-division side said Tuesday.

The 53-year-old, who managed Japan’s under-23 side during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, will be back at Sendai for his second spell following his successful stint between 2008 and 2013.

Vegalta had their best years to date under Teguramori, finishing fourth in 2011 and second a year later, giving a lift to the northeastern region of Japan as it sought to recover from the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“Lots of things came together at the same time and it feels as though I was led by heaven,” said Teguramori, who left V-Varen Nagasaki in the J2 at the end of this campaign with the team having finished third and narrowly missed out on promotion.

He will replace Takashi Kiyama at Vegalta after they slumped to a 17th-place finish this term. There was no relegation from the 18-team J1 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I will hold the responsibility of rebuilding Sendai, who struggled this season,” Teguramori said. “I will take the wheel once again to, as I’ve always said, make us the ray of hope for the region and symbol of the recovery.”

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