Monday, 4 June 2012

Ardija Appoint Suzuki Successor

After several days of speculation Omiya have confirmed the appointment as coach Zdenko Verdenik. The 63-year-old Slovenian comes to Ardija following the dismissal last week of Jun Suzuki, who led a goalshy Squirrels to a dicey-looking fifteenth in the J1 standings. He appears to have been the only candidate considered by the club. 

Verdenik's most recent post was a technical position at the Slovenian FA and indeed he has fulfilled several different roles with the association throughout his career, including that of national team coach from 1994 to 1997. He has coached clubs in both Slovenia and Austria, but perhaps surprisingly Omiya will be his fifth Japanese team.

From 1991 to 1993 Verdenik was in charge of Yokohama Flugels. He returned to Japan in 2000 and over a period of five years coached at JEF United, Nagoya Grampus Eight and Vegalta Sendai. His most notable achievement was a second-placed finish in the 2001 first stage with a JEF side that had ended sixteenth in the 2000 second stage.

In the assistant role at Omiya will be Takuya Inoue, until last week Ardija's youth coach but someone who worked with Verdenik at JEF. Meanwhile caretaker Takeyuki Okamoto will hold the fort for the Nabisco Cup games against Vissel Kobe and Shimizu S-Pulse. Verdenik is scheduled to take training from Monday 11th June, meaning that his first match in charge will be the J1 fixture at home to Kashiwa Reysol on Saturday 16th.



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