Icelandic handball coach Dagur Sigurðsson has signed a seven-year contract with the Japanese men’s national handball team, RÚV reports.
Since 2014, Dagur has been coach of the German men’s national handball team, which, under his coaching, won the European Championship in January this year and the bronze at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the summer.
His contract with the German team was good through the 2020 Olympics, but Dagur decided to take advantage of a clause in the contract, allowing him to cancel it on June 30, 2017.
The Japanese team took over the rest of the contract, however, making it possible for Dagur to start coaching the Japanese team right after the World Championship in France in January.
Dagur is pleased with the contract: “I was in a good negotiating position; things have gone well, and many had contacted me, so I was to some extent able to determine how I wanted this to be. They were ready for the challenge, and the family and I saw an opportunity and tried to set it up so that we could move home to Iceland and I could do the job from there.”
He told RÚV this position was among those he had had at the back of his mind for a long time. He has kept a good relationship with the Japanese team since his stay in Japan from 2000 till 2003, where he played with and coached the Wakunaga team.