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Soccer: Relegated Oita's manager Katanosaka to leave at end of season

Oita Trinita manager Tomohiro Katanosaka. (Photo courtesy of J-League/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Oita Trinita manager Tomohiro Katanosaka will step down at the end of the season after the club was relegated, the J-League first-division side said Friday.

    The 50-year-old will remain in charge for Oita's two remaining J1 fixtures, as well as in the Emperor's Cup, where they have reached the semifinals.

    Katanosaka is reportedly set to become the new manager of Gamba Osaka next term.

    "I feel the heavy weight of relegation, and that has moved me to make this decision," Katanosaka said through the club. "I'm proud of having started my managerial career at Trinita and everything associated with it."

    A meticulous tactician and squad manager, Katanosaka took charge of then-J3 side Oita in 2016 and steered them to a second-place J2 finish in 2018, earning promotion to the top flight.

    But Oita have won just seven games this term, while drawing eight and losing 21, consigning them to a bottom-four finish and relegation with two rounds left. Katanosaka's successor has yet to be named.

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