The Japan Times reports that Yasuharu Sorimachi has been appointed as manager of the newly promoted J. League second division side Matsumoto Yamaga. Sorimachi’s most recent position was with the second-tier Shonan Bellmare, a club he left following a disappointing fourteenth place in the 2011 J. League season. Sorimachi takes over managerial duties from former Verdy Kawasaki (now Tokyo Verdy) midfielder Yoshiyuki Kato, who despite leading Matsumoto Yamaga to fourth place in the semi-professional Japan Football League and earning subsequent promotion into the professional ranks, unfortunately does not hold the necessary coaching credentials to manage at this level.
The Daily Yomiuri has a brief article suggesting that current Jubilo Iwata and Samurai Blue striker Ryoichi Maeda is to undergo a trial at English Npower Football League Championship side West Ham United. The thirty year-old, who is a two time J. League golden boot winner, will train with West Ham for five days, with current manager Sam Allardyce set to try to bolster his attack during the transfer window, having seen his options depleted by a number of injuries to his forwards during the first half of the season. West Ham, currently second in the table to Southampton on goal difference, are aiming for immediate promotion to the Premier League following their relegation to the Championship in the 2010-11 season.
The Daily Yomiuri also notes that Jubilo Iwata and Samurai Blue Yuichi Komano right-back may join Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League outfit Sint Truinden.
Finally, following the devastating floods which hit Thailand in July 2011 and continued into December last year, the Nippon Sports noted the contribution made to the Thai Premier League of ¥165 million (approximately GBP 1.39 million) by supporters in Japan. The cheque was handed over by former Yokohama F-Marinos defender Yoshiaki Maruyama, who now plies his trade with the Thai Premier League team Thai Port F.C..