Saigon FC appoints Japanese head coach

By Duc Dong   February 24, 2021 | 04:58 pm PT
Saigon FC appoints Japanese head coach
Shimoda Masahiro (L) in a training session of Saigon FC. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Anh.
Shimoda Masahiro has been appointed the new head coach of Saigon FC, the latest action by club in building a Japanese culture in its management.

"We are building the club on the foundations of Japanese J1 League, which is why we recruited him. Should Shimoda Masahiro not meet expectations, we might recruit another Japanese manager to replace him," Saigon FC Chairman Tran Hoa Binh told VnExpress.

The 54-year-old coach was appointed after Vu Tien Thanh, the previous manager of Saigon FC left the club to become the new director of the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents (PVF). The change was made last week.

Masahiro can speak English, Portuguese and Spanish fluently. He used to be a technical director for Japanese clubs Kyoto Purple Sanga and FC Tokyo. From 2009 to 2016, he held several key positions at Japan Football Association (JFA), including tech director. In addition, he was also the director of the Japanese national team, U23s, U19s and U16s.

During his seven years working at JFA, Japan achieved great results, winning Asian Cup 2011, AFC U23 and U19 Championship in 2016 and reaching the Olympic 2012 semifinals.

Saigon FC also appointed another Japanese, football expert Fuzima Kenzo as club vice director.

In another move, Saigon has officially loaned out two of their midfielders, Cao Van Trien and Tran Danh Trung, to J2 League club FC Ryukyu in a partnership deal. Three more players from Saigon are expected to join J3 League in 2022.

"We let the players go to Japan to improve their level. Cao Van Trien is our best player, but our goal is to create the best environment for him to grow so he could contribute to Vietnamese football," Binh said.

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