08 December 2007

New Coach Named

Mito HollyHock has announced the hiring of a new head coach for the 2008 season. He's Takashi Kiyama, who played in J. League from 1994 to 2002, aside from one season in the JFL with Mito in 1999.

His playing history:

1990-1993: Tsukuba University
1994-1997: Gamba Osaka
1998: Consadole Sapporo
1999-2002: Mito HollyHock

His coaching history:

2003-2004: Tsukuba University head coach
(He led the university team to the national title in 2003 and the Kanto Division 1 title in 2004.)
2005-2007: Vissel Kobe youth coach
(He led the youth team to be runner-up in the 2005 J. Youth Cup and to win the 2006 Kansai Prince Cup.)

Kiyama is only 35 years old, and perhaps will be the youngest coach in J. League history. He's 2 weeks older than my older brother, which is strange to me personally, and only 5 years older than the oldest player on the team, goalkeeper Honma, with whom he played for three years on the Mito squad. He will receive his S grade coaching license (required for J. League standards) upon the turn of the new year. While his limited responsibilities have proven his ability to lead a team to success, it is yet to be known if that can translate to success at a J. League side's top team in league play.

Mr. Kiyama's message:
「サッカーができることの喜びを与えてくれたホーリーホックに、監督として迎え入れていただくことに縁を感じています。水戸が目指すべきサッカーを築き、 地域の人たちに愛されるチームをつくっていきたいと思います。」
"For the HollyHock, who showed me the joy of being able to play soccer, I feel fate has brought me in to act as head coach. I would like to move the team towards the soccer it should focus on and make it into a club loved by the people in the area."

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