Kawasaki Frontale announce appointment of new manager Yahiro Kazama

The former Sanfrecce and national team player begins his first professional managerial stint two weeks after the firing of former boss Naoki Soma for poor results
J-League's Kawasaki Frontale on Monday unveiled new manager Yahiro Kazama, two weeks after parting ways with Naoki Soma.

The 51-year-old will coach his first professional club after running the football programme at Tsukuba University, where he also played. Kazama's career as a player began in Germany at Bayer Leverkusen and continued at BVL Remscheid and Eintracht Braunschweig. He then returned to Japan, joining Mazda SC and staying with the club after it became Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 1992.

Earning 19 caps for Japan's national team, Kazama was also the first Japanese footballer to score in the J-League's inaugural 1993 season. In recent years he has also worked as a commentator for Fuji Television, a role which he will continue through May. After taking part in his first practice session on Wednesday, Kazama is expected to make his professional managerial debut against Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Saturday.

Frontale announced the departure of Soma on April 11 due to poor results, just five matches into his second year as coach after achieving an 11th-place finish last season. The team have won three, lost three and drawn once heading into the eighth round of play and currently sit in 10th place.

Follow Goal.com Asia on and
for the latest in Asian footballing news, features, and analysis