The Top Team
The Omiya Ardija top team travelled to Okinawa for the first leg of the training camp, which took place January 17-27. Then they moved to Miyazaki for the second leg of training from January 30 to February 7. Returning to Omiya, they played a friendly match against Thespakusatsu Gunma, which was open to the public, on February 11 at NACK5 Stadium Omiya. Omiya scored in the 26th minute with an opening goal by FW Robin Šimović, and FW Genki Omae added a goal moments before the end of the match, shutting out Gunma 2-0.
Head coach Masatada Ishii and FW Genki Omae took part in the 2018 J.League Kickoff Conference held on February 15. Head coach Ishii commented, “Our motivation went up a notch because we sat next to Ventforet Kofu’s booth, our opponent for the February 25 season opener.”
FW Tomoya Osawa and MF Taisei Taniguchi of the junior youth team were selected to the U-16 national team, which toured the UAE from February 2 to 11. During the tour, they played against the U-16 national teams of Belgium, UAE and Czech Republic. Tomoya Osawa scored the winning goal in the match against the Czech Republic, pushing Japan to second place with 2 wins and 1 loss. Osawa was also invited to take part in the U-16 national team training camp from February 19 to 23 along with GK Jones Rei.
Some of the top team players participated in the Omiya Ardija Soccer School on February 14 and 15. GK Hitoshi Shiota and DF DongSu Kim went to the Stellartown School; MF Mateus and Cauê went to the LUMINE OMIYA School; FW Shintaro Shimizu visited the first and second graders’ class at the Iwatsuki School; and DF Akinari Kawazura joined the kindergarten, first and second graders’ class at the Shiki School and enjoyed playing football with the kids.
On February 14 and 15, members of the top team paid a courtesy visit to the five districts in hometown Omiya before the official opening of the 2018 season. GK Nobuhiro Kato visited Nishi Ward; MF Shin Kanazawa visited the Kita Ward Office; MF Yuta Mikado visited the Omiya Ward Office; MF Keisuke Oyama visited the ward office of his home district of Minuma Ward; and MF Akimi Barada visited Iwatsuki Ward.
On February 12, Omiya Ardija organized a reception to inspirit and boost the morale of the players for the 2018 season. Approximately 350 guests from the Ardija supporters club, local patrons, and members from the football family gathered to express their support and encouragement.
The Ardija Business Club (ABC) held their 2018 general assembly and reception on February 15. Some 112 members from 52 firms participated and wished for the continued success and development of ABC and confirmed their determination to support the club’s efforts to achieve their goal for the coming season.
Omiya Ardija and four other J2 clubs – Jef United Ichihara chiba, Tokyo Verdy, FC Machida Zelvia and Yokohama FC – will conduct a joint promotion, “Battle of the Metropolitan 5: New Hope.” The objective is to join hands with neighboring clubs and use the synergy to inspire the clubs and their fans.
Omiya Ardija took part in the “4th Japan Festival 2018 in Laos.” With the cooperation of the Japanese Embassy in Laos, Omiya Ardija organized a kick target game, which attracted 500 participants over the two-day period.