President Orimo said, “In order to change the current situation, we have come to the decision to terminate the contract.”
Levanga Hokkaido has announced that it has canceled the contract with Kenichi Sako, the head coach, by mutual agreement. At the same time, it was announced that assistant coach Ryutaro Onodera will take over the team as interim head coach from the match against Utsunomiya Brex on February 11.
After retiring from playing, Sako became the head coach of the newly formed Hiroshima Dragonflies, and since 2017 he has been the assistant coach of the Japan Men’s National Team, and since 2018 he has also served as the head coach of the Japan Men’s Subcategory . Men’s National Team. Then, in the summer of 2021, he left the Japanese national team and became the head coach of Hokkaido. Despite recording 21 wins and 35 losses (37.5% winning rate) from the first year, they have struggled so far this season with 8 wins and 28 losses (22.2% winning rate) and 8th site in the Eastern Region.
Sako made the following comments in a club statement: “At this time, I have decided to retire as head coach of Levanga Hokkaido. My only regret is that I was not able to help the club for the fans and boosters who have supported me so far, and for everyone involved. many players in the team have a strong desire to win, and I feel very sorry that I was not able to lead them to a good result. I sincerely apologize for not being able to repay that support.”
President and Representative Director Takehiko Orimo explained the reason for canceling the contract as follows. “I have asked Kenichi Sako to lead the team from the 2021-22 season, laying the foundation for the team in the first year, and in the second year, this season, I have asked him to focus on the game and lead the team. with a focus on results. , in order to change the current situation of being in the relegation zone without any consequences, we have decided to terminate the contract.”