Sugiyama not renewing Albirex contract

The Japanese coach will leave the club after helming it for four years and indicates that he would like to stay in Singapore to continue coaching

Albirex Niigata coach Koichi Sugiyama is set to leave the club at the end of this season, having indicated his intention not to renew his contract to carry on in 2014.

The Japanese stated this in the post-match press conference following his side's 3-1 defeat to Home United in their last match of the season on Monday night, which saw them finish third in the league for 2013.

"I don’t renew [my contact for] next year," he told the press.

When asked whether he would like to continue coaching in the S.League, his reply was unequivocal.

"Yes, of course; I think [this is like] my graduation from Albirex Singapore, so I want to try next season [in the S.League]," Sugiyama expressed, although he did stress that he had no plans at the moment.

"But now, I don’t decide [my future], there are no plans [yet]."

Sugiyama also dismissed the idea that he could take over at Albirex Niigata Phnom Penh FC, the club's Cambodian offshoot for 2014.

"Cambodia? Sorry, I don’t think so, nah," he said, before expressing his gratitude to the team.

"I will be staying in Singapore for quite a while, because I like Singapore. I want to say thank you very much for the four years [during which] Singapore[ans] all supported us and I want to say thank you to my players and my staff for trusting me."

Sugiyama, now 42, briefly played for J-League side Albirex Niigata after spells at Urawa Red Diamonds and Tokyo Verdy. He took the reins of the club's satellite team here in January 2010 and led them to seventh that season, following up with fourth and third in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The White Swans ended 2013 in third as well, after being seen as title contenders early on in the season.