Olympic Football Club are excited to announce the appointment of Kazuya Ito as the Club’s International Director.
In his new role, Ito will look to create opportunities for the development of Olympic players and coaches through team tours, player exchanges and club partnerships in his native Japan.
The Club legend returned to Japan last week after hanging up his boots at the conclusion of the 2020 NPL Queensland season but will continue his association with Olympic through his new role.
Ito made a club record 170 NPL Queensland appearances over eight seasons at Olympic, winning the Championship – Premiership double in 2013 and being named in the leagues All-Time Eleven by Football Queensland earlier this year.
As well as making a significant impact on the pitch as a player during his time at Olympic, Ito was a driving force in the club’s junior programs – overseeing a number of SAP and Academy teams throughout his time at the club.
Prior to his time with Olympic Ito played professionally in Japan for MIO Biwako Shiga and in the youth side of J-League club, Cerezo Osaka.
The 34-year-old has built an extensive network in Japan’s footballing circles, both from his playing days and now as he moves into player management.
Ito will continue to manage Triangle Football Development – a program providing extra training opportunities for Olympic juniors from afar with Club Captain, Steve Whyte taking the reins as lead coach for the program.
“I’m very excited to be able to continue to work with the club, I have developed a good knowledge of both Japanese and Australian football and looking forward to this next step,” Ito said.
“I want to bring people from J-League clubs across to Australia and vice versa as well.
“For youth players there will be opportunity to train with J-League academies, compete in tournaments and go to school in Japan.
“I hope to bring more Japanese players to come play for Olympic too.”
Here’s hoping the international border situation improves in 2021 allowing our players to enjoy the full benefit of this opportunity.