Soccer: Gamba hire ex-Oita boss Katanosaka as new manager

© Kyodo News

J-League first division side Gamba Osaka appointed Tomohiro Katanosaka, who managed fellow J1 side Oita Trinita this season, as the club's new boss on Thursday.

The 50-year-old was previously part of the Gamba organization as a player and coach. He replaces Masanobu Matsunami, who filled the void left by Tsuneyasu Miyamoto in May and will step into an academy director position.

"I am grateful to Oita Trinita and their fans for giving me a warm send-off," Katanosaka said in a statement.

"I believe my mission is to help Gamba Osaka find their way back. I will bring all my experience and passion to make that happen, and help build a strong team that will get everyone excited and wanting to cheer."

Gamba finished 13th in the 20-team first division this season.

After taking the helm at Oita in 2016, Katanosaka steered the J3 side to J2 promotion in a year and led them back to the top flight after a second place finish in 2018. Oita finished 18th in 2021 and were relegated, but managed to reach the Emperor's Cup final.

Takahiro Shimotaira, who was sacked as Yokohama FC manager in April following a run of poor results, is set to take the reins at Oita Trinita next season.