The Top Team
The Omiya Ardija top team went up against last season’s J1 champion, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, in Match 4 of the Meiji Yasuda J1 First Stage, suffering a crushing 1-5 defeat in front of the home crowd. Undaunted by their consecutive loss, they charged on to draw 1-1 with Jubilo Iwata in Match 5 and overcame Nagoya Grampus’ lead to snatch a win in Match 6. After the 1-1 draw with Ventforet Kofu in Match 7, Ardija sits at sixth place in the league with 3 wins, 2 losses, and 2 ties.
Ardija is also making great headways in the group league of the J.League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup that is taking place simultaneously. After three matches, Ardija is at the top of the group with 2 wins and 1 loss, and has a very good chance to advance to the final stage.
The “Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Youth (U-18) Premier Football League East” kicked off on April 10, and the Omiya Ardija youth team had a rough start. They played against the defending champion, Kashima Antlers Youth, in Match 1. Conceding two goals early in the match, they were shut out 0-2. They were again defeated 1-2 by Aomori Yamada High School in Match 2.
Meanwhile, the junior team did a superb job in the two March competitions they took part in. They won their first “JA Zennou Chibilympic 2016 in Kanto” title and gained a place in the national tournament as the top Kanto representative. In the Danone Nations Cup, they reached the semifinals but lost to Ventforet Kofu and finished third.
Prior to the kickoff of the top team’s match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima on March 20, the sixth graders attending the Omiya Ardija Soccer School who graduated from primary school at the end of March were honored at the “2015 Soccer School Graduation Ceremony.” About 100 sixth graders from 11 soccer schools attended.
During March 29-31, a three-day mini-school was held at Jexer Fitness Club Toda Koen, which is the venue used by the Toda Koen Branch of the soccer school. 19 members who start fourth grade and kindergarten’s middle class in April participated. The newly established Konosu Branch opened its doors from the start of April at the Konosu City Kamiya Park, making it the 12th soccer school branch in Saitama Prefecture.
Omiya Ardija accepted the request from Saitama City to continue serving as the city’s Ambassador for Tourism. The term will be two years from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2018.
During the home matches played in March against Kashiwa Reysol, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, and Nagoya Grampus, Ardija collected a total of 724,541 yen as a donation for the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The donation was used to invite 17 boys from a soccer club in Kamaishi City to Omiya for the April 2 match against Jubilo Iwata.
Donations were also collected during the match against Ventfore Kofu on April 16 to support those affected by the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. The 1,061,200 yen collected will be given to Kumamoto Prefecture or to the Red Cross through the “J.League Team-as-One Donation” account.