ASIA: Japan “Nadeshiko” head coach “Asako Takakura” named AFC Women’s Coach of the Year for a record seventh time

Nadeshiko gaffer Asako Takakura was named the AFC Women’s Coach of the Year for a record seventh time in Hong Kong on Monday.

Takakura, who also won the award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, led Japan to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Round of 16.

The Nadeshiko were equally impressive in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup in the United States.

The Nadeshiko held the United States 2-2 in their SheBelieves Cup opener and registered an impressive 3-1 win against Brazil before going down 3-0 to eventual champions England.

Under Takakura’s watch, Japan claimed the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan, defending the title they won in 2014, before winning the 2018 Asian Games Indonesia gold medal, defeating China PR 1-0 in the final.

Takakura became the first ever female coach for the Japanese women’s national team when she succeeded Norio Sasaki in 2016.

The 51-year-old former Japanese midfielder began her managerial career as an assistant coach in the 2009 and 2011 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship.

In 2013, she led the Japan U-16 side to the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship title, with the young Nadeshiko defeating DPR Korea in the final. Her dedication with the U-16 side earned Japan the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2014 when they beat Spain 2-0.

The team followed that up with a third place finish in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2016.

A year later, she repeated history with the U-19 team in the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in China PR, again defeating DPR Korea to secure the title.

Naa Bardina
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