Former Yokohama F. Marinos manager Kokichi Kimura to manage Laos national team

After mid-table finishes in 2008 and 2009 with the Yokohama club, the 50-year-old's next managerial position will be with the 175th-ranked south-east Asian nation
The Japan Football Association (JFA) on Thursday approved a request to dispatch JFA National Training Center coach Kokichi Kimura to Laos in order to manage that country's national team. The decision was made at a meeting of the association's board of directors.

Kimura, a former striker for Yokohama F. Marinos, took over as manager in 2008, when he helped the team recover to a ninth-place finish as well as the Emperor's Cup semi-finals. He was dismissed after leading Marinos to a 10th place finish in 2009.

The Laos national football team, currently 175th in the Fifa world ranking, has yet to make an appearance in a major international competition. Their last sanctioned match took place in July of last year, when they lost 1-6 to China in the second round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup.

Kimura, who will be contracted to the south-east Asian nation from July 1 through January 2014, will manage all of Laos' teams above the Under-18 level.

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