Football: S-League Coach of the Year Naoki Naruo leaves champions Albirex Niigata

Albirex Niigata coach Naoki Naruo was named 2016 Coach of the Year at the S.League Awards Night held at Marina Bay Sands on Nov 1, 2016.
Albirex Niigata coach Naoki Naruo was named 2016 Coach of the Year at the S.League Awards Night held at Marina Bay Sands on Nov 1, 2016.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Two days after collecting the S-League Coach of the Year award, Naoki Naruo has left league champions Albirex Niigata.

A post on the club's website said Naruo, 42, who was in his second spell at the Japanese club after one season in 2009, is leaving "upon completion of his contract".

Naruo led Albirex to an unprecedented four trophies, winning the S-League, RHB Singapore Cup, The New Paper League Cup, and the Community Shield.

His team also played a brand of attacking football that was pleasing on the eye.

 

In the same post, Naruo said: "This season has been an extremely fruitful year for Albirex Niigata FC (Singapore). When I was approached in December last year to be the head coach again, I looked at the recent history of the club. It was apparent to me that the target was to win the league title, which has been elusive to the club.

"It was a very clear objective and an attractive proposition for me. I told myself that I cannot afford to fail again at this second bite at the cherry.

"I want to thank my players and coaches, office staff who believed in my methods. I also want to thank the sponsors and supporters for the fervent support we received."