There was the brief excitement that it could be Wagner Lopes, but it seems he may have been visiting friends in Hakata before accepting the Gamba job.
Koji Maeda does have a long history with Avispa having played for Fukuoka Blux in 1995, and then returning to the club from 2000-2001 when we were in J1. He played as a defender, which is probably a good thing as it is the area of the pitch which probably needs the most work in the coming months.
Since retiring as a player he hasn’t been hugely successful, but has served a bit of an apprenticeship having been player-coach at Volca Kagoshima, various coaching roles at Vissel Kobe, and most recently Head Coach back at Volca.
It’s a steady appointment rather than anything dramatic, and I am guessing than he is probably quite a bit cheaper than some of the other options floating around.
It comes on the same day that our Spanish/Portuguese speaking translator also leaves the club and as a domestic appointment may mean that we don’t see many South American imports for a while.