The Top Team
The Omiya Ardija top team drew 1-1 with Sagan Tosu in Match 13 played on September 25, and stretched their “no loss” record to two months. For the first match in October they went up against Kashima Antlers at Kashima Stadium. They have not been able to win in the past ten matches played there, but they finally broke the jinx with a 3-1 victory. At that point Omiya accumulated 50 points throughout the year, accomplishing their goal of 48 points at the end of the season. Omiya’s run continued as they beat Shonan Bellmare 3-2 in a heated match, adding more points.
An announcement was made on October 22 confirming that Hiroki Shibuya will continue to take command of the team in the 2017 season. Head Coach Shibuya commented: “I am determined to develop the team that can accomplish a higher level, and we’ll be prepared to take on any challenge.”
The captain of the youth team, MF Riku Yamada, will be promoted next season to the top team. Yamada has been with Omiya since the junior level.
On October 23, the youth team played against Ventfore Kofu U-18 in the second match of the 2016J Youth Cup. The match was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes and went into extra time. Ventfore Kofu scored soon after the start of the extra time, and Omiya was defeated 1-2.
Meanwhile, the Omiya’s junior youth team played against Kashima Antlers JY on October 16 in the final match of the U-15 Kanto League. Omiya lost 0-1 and finished the league in seventh place with 26 points, and will participate in the 28th Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Youth (U-15) Football Tournament starting from the Kanto Tournament.
On October 1 at Kashima Stadium, second to fourth graders from the Omiya Ardija and Kashima Antlers soccer schools played a friendly match and was invited to watch the Omiya vs. Kashima match afterwards. The children enjoyed playing football at Kashima Stadium and were excited to see a live top team match. The Omiya Ardija soccer school students could not contain their excitement throughout their return bus ride to Omiya Station.
A new service was launched as the second part of the smart stadium initiative at NACK5 Stadium Omiya. During Match 13 against Sagan Tosu on September 25, spectators could access the Wi-Fi Multicast System and enjoy images and data linked with the on-going match. The new service also expands the official Omiya Ardija app for added enjoyment.
A special event called “Soccer School presented by J.League in Bhutan” took place during Bhutan-Japan Week, which is part of the events commemorating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bhutan. Omiya’s U-12 coach Hayato Hashimoto gave football lessons to over 100 local children at the Bhutan National Stadium.
Norio Sasaki, the club’s first head coach, will assume the role of Total Advisor beginning November 1. Sasaki is well known as the former head coach of Nadeshiko Japan (the women’s national team) that became world champion by winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup title in 2011.