Whilst it seems all the rage these days to dispense with your manager on a regular basis, two J2 clubs this week announced that they would retain their managers for next season.
Firstly, Fagiano Okayama announced that they would be rolling with Masanaga Kageyama for another season. The maroons have had a fairly decent season, and are still in with a shot of the J2 play-offs heading into an away match at Tokushima Vortis this weekend. He has done a good job in making Fagiano a stable J-League club over his previous three years at Fagi, and will be looking to push on next year, if they miss out on the play-offs this time of asking. The club seem set off the pitch, they are one of the very few clubs in J2 to have turned a profit, and with the renewal of Kageyama’s contract, they will feel that their arrow is firmly pointing up.
In a season seemingly full of bad news for Avispa Fukuoka, one bright spot is the decision to keep Marijan Pusnik for the 2014 season. He admitted in an interview that the last few weeks have weighed heavily upon him and that trying to concentrate on football matters has been difficult but he feels that the support shown by the fans shows that there can be good times ahead. Pusnik has, at times, had Avispa purring: on their day their attack can be classed amongst the best in the league. Hisashi Jogo, Daisuke Ishizu & Daisuke Sakata have the potential to be very menacing and he has also thrown younger players into the fray which, given Avispa’s well publicised financial problems, has to be the way forward for them. Hopefully there are brighter times ahead at the Level-5 Stadium.
All in all, two of the more decent managers in the division staying on for next year. Although how many referees will be are looking forward to Pusnik delivering hairdryer-style treatment to them is another question entirely……