The Top Team
J.League’s 2017 season for the J1 League kicked off on February 25. Omiya Ardija’s season opener played at NACK5 Stadium against Kawasaki Frontale ended in a bitter 0-2 defeat in front of the home crowd and started a losing streak for the top team. Match 2 was another 0-2 loss to F.C. Tokyo. Despite scoring the first goal of the season by Shintaro Shimizu, Omiya was defeated again 1-2 by Jubilo Iwata in Match 3. Playing away at Ventforet Kofu’s home ground in Match 4, Omiya conceded a goal after a penalty and lost 0-1. Struggling with four consecutive losses since the season started, Omiya needs to regain their strength and get back into the game.
In the 11th Kanto Youth (U-15) Soccer League, which kicked off on March 5, the Omiya Ardija junior youth team lost the first two matches, 2-3 to Tokyo Verdy JY and 0-2 to Kashima Antlers JY, but came back to crush the Kashima Antlers Norte 4-1 in Match 3 to claim their first victory of the season.
Naoki Suto of the Omiya Ardija junior youth team was picked for the U-15 Japan National Team participating in the “Sport for Tomorrow: South Asia vs. Japan U-16 Friendship Program in Sri Lanka” and went on tour with the team from March 8 to 16.
Current champion of the Saitama U-11 Premier League, Omiya Ardija’s junior team (U-10) represented Saitama Prefecture and took part in the Premier League U-11 Championship 2017. Omiya survived the tough competition to become the national U-11 champion.
A new hub for the Omiya Ardija Soccer School will be opening soon at the “Orange Court Stellartown” futsal court. Scheduled to open on May 1, the Stellartown School will be the club’s largest soccer school venue. The new school is accepting applications from students who wish to join.
The 2016 soccer school graduation ceremony was held on March 11, prior to J.1 League Match 3 against Jubilo Iwata, with 137 sixth-graders from 11 soccer schools attending. Takumu Fujinuma from Omiya Ardija’s top team who attended the Shiki School was also present to deliver a congratulatory message to the graduates.
The players and staff of the Laos U-20 National Team took part in the Omiya Ardija youth team training session from February 20 to 25. This was part of the activities carried out with the support of the J.League and The Japan Foundation Asia Center for the purpose of developing the level of football toward the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
On the day of Match 3 against Jubilo Iwata, Omiya Ardija held a fund raiser for the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction efforts. Club Ambassador Taishi Tsukamoto, ten top team players, the club staff, and supporters helped out to raise 502,130 yen, which will be used for reconstruction assistance projects aiding the areas that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
JETRO hosted an event at the Aeon Mall Long Bien in Hanoi, Vietnam, to promote health and longevity. Omiya Ardija operated a booth and held a kick-off target event. This was the club’s first visit to Vietnam.
Omiya Ardija organized a football clinic during the March 20 “Saitama City Normalization Cup 2017.” Meanwhile, club mascot Ardy participated in an event held on the occasion of a friendly match played between the national teams of Japan and Brazil.