Ishii vows to push Sea Fangs to new level

Ishii vows to push Sea Fangs to new level

Samut Prakan City's Masatada Ishii.
Samut Prakan City's Masatada Ishii.

Masatada Ishii is aiming high after being appointed as coach of the Thai League 1 side Samut Prakan City.

The Japanese was unveiled as the new coach of the Sea Fangs yesterday, replacing compatriot Tetsuya Murayama who quit at the end of last season.

"It is an honour for me to be appointed as coach of Samut Prakan City," Ishii told a press conference.

"This is my first time working abroad. My job is to help the team get good results and finish the season in the top three in Thai League 1. Also, I want to help them become well-known at the Asian level."

Having been seen as relegation contenders ahead of last season, Samut Prakan defied all the odds to finish sixth.

The 52-year-old is an experienced coach who guided Kashima Antlers to win the Japanese League Cup in 2015 and league crown in 2016.

Samut Prakan City chairman Thanet Panitcheewa said: "We spent some time after the end of last season to find a new coach and we finally opted for Japanese coach Masatada Ishii.

"For our preparations of the team for the upcoming season, we will mainly use Thai players. We want them to play to their potential so we have hired Ishii, who we believe is capable of bringing the best out of the players.

"I am confident that Ishii is the right man for our team. He has a one-year contract with an option for another year depending on his performance."

Meanwhile, Vietnam star Nguyen Quang Hai has rejected an offer from J1 League side Consadole Sapporo, according to

Nguyen is one of the hottest prospects in Southeast Asia at the moment.

But while his compatriots have gone on to play in bigger leagues, Nguyen will remain with Hanoi FC.

Sapporo already have one Asean player on their books -- Thailand's Chanathip Songkrasin -- and wanted to pair him with the Vietnamese.

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