Albirex announce new head coach to lead S.League title defence

Albirex Niigata (S) have named Kazuaki Yoshinaga as their new head coach for the 2017 season, replacing the hugely successful Naoki Naruo. 

Yoshinaga will have much to live up to after Naruo led the White Swans to an unprecedented sweep of all four trophies available in 2016.

In addition to the successful defence of the Singapore Cup and League Cup, Albirex managed to add the S.League title and Charity Shield to their trophy cabinet.

The new man in charge is aged 48 and has had several coaching stints back in Japan, most recently first-team coach with J1 League side, Ventforet Kofu.

Yoshinaga will be aided by coaches Kazuto Jinoo and Takafumi Mizuno, after the two signed on for another season of the S.League.

Albirex will lose two key players for the 2017 season, with Atsushi Kawata heading back to parent club Albirex Niigata in Japan while Atsushi Shirota joined Hougang United.

However, they have managed to convince veteran goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa to extend his stay with the club for another season.

The veteran keeper played a huge role in Albirex’s success in the 2016 season, as he only conceded 17 goals in 21 games.

Tomoki Menda and Hiroyoshi Kamata are also among the players to have renewed their contracts.

Main Photo: Albirex Niigata S