The J.League on Wednesday announced the recipients of several year-end prizes ahead of the upcoming 2016 J.League Awards.
Kashima Antlers boss Masatada Ishii was named Manager of the Year by his peers for leading his side to a remarkable 2016 J.League title triumph.
He oversaw Antlers’ First Stage victory before the side came back from a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the J.League Championship final against Urawa Reds to win the second 2-1, thus clinching the prize with a 2-2 aggregate result based on the away goals rule.
The title is Ishii’s second piece of silverware at the club since he took over in the middle of the 2015 season.
Meanwhile, Gamba Osaka midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi was named winner of the Best Young Player Award, just two months after receiving the 2016 J.League YBC Levain Cup New Hero Award.
The 20-year-old is the first player to win the ‘rookie double’ since Keisuke Tsuboi, then of Urawa Reds, in 2002.
Gamba were also awarded Best Youth System.
The remaining top-tier awards, including the J.League Best XI, MVP, and Goal of the Year, will be announced at the 2016 J.League Awards on December 20 at Yokohama Arena.