Masatada Ishii, former manager of the J-League's Kashima Antlers and Omiya Ardija, will take the helm of Thailand's national men's football team, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The 56-year-old Ishii is set to become the second Japanese head coach of Thailand, following Akira Nishino, who served for two years from July 2019.

Photo taken on Jan. 1, 2017, shows then Kashima Antlers manager Masatada Ishii after the J-League champions completed a league and cup double with a 2-1 victory over Kawasaki Frontale in the Emperor's Cup final. (Kyodo)

Thailand are currently second behind leaders South Korea in their group in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, to be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

On Jan. 1, 2024, Thailand and Japan are scheduled to play a friendly match at Tokyo's National Stadium.

Ishii guided Kashima to the J-League first-division and Emperor's Cup titles in the 2016 season. After his mid-season dismissal from Kashima in 2017, Ishii served as head coach of Omiya and Thai clubs Samut Prakan City and Buriram United.