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Kewell takes over from Muscat as new Yokohama F Marinos manager

Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos have appointed former Australia and Leeds United forward Harry Kewell as the club’s new manager, the J.League outfit announced on Sunday.

The 45-year-old replaces Kevin Muscat, who left at the end of the season after Marinos finished runners-up behind Vissel Kobe in the title race.

“I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Yokohama F Marinos,” Kewell said in a statement.

“I would like to thank the club for putting their trust in me to take the team forward. There is a lot of work ahead of us, and I am eager to get onto the training ground to start working with the players.

“We will work together as we aim to bring success to the club. The hard work begins now.”

Kewell becomes the third Australian coach in a row to take charge of the club, following in the footsteps of Ange Postecoglou and Muscat.

Postecoglou won the J.League title with the club in 2019 before leaving to join Celtic in Scotland, while Muscat also claimed the domestic crown in 2022.

Muscat left at the conclusion of the 2023 season and has since been appointed head coach at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Port.

Kewell joins after spending the last 18 months as assistant coach at Celtic having had previous managerial stints at Crawley Town, Notts County, Oldham Athletic and Barnet.

His first competitive game in charge is expected to come in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League, with Marinos drawn to play against Thailand’s Bangkok United in February.

The new J.League campaign is slated to kick off on Feb. 23.

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