Ex-Ardija General Manager, coach and technical director Satoru Sakuma has been appointed General Manager of J2 outfit Ventforet Kofu. Sakuma, 45, played for the Squirrels' predecessor corporate club NTT Kanto and became their goalkeeping coach in 1994. Having taken on various roles over the next thirteen years, his career at Omiya peaked when he was appointed emergency short-term coach of the first team, following the dismissal of Robert Verbeek.
Sakuma was just able to steer the Squirrels to J1 safety thanks in the main to dramatic key victories over Urawa Reds and FC Tokyo, but immediately stood down at the end of the 2007 season. He became the club's technical director as Yasuhiro Higuchi moved from Montedio Yamagata to take over as coach, but eventually quit Omiya for good midway through the current campaign.