The Top Team
On January 14, the announcement of the 2019 Omiya Ardija new organizational structure took place at the Shimin Kaikan Omiya Hall with 1,039 media, fans and supporters in attendance. President of the club, Masashi Mori, presented the club’s policy, and Tetsuya Nishiwaki, director of development, explained the plan for players’ development. Then the new head coach, Takuya Takagi, was introduced along with the 30 top team players in order of their uniform number. The top team’s slogan “121% ORANGE” was revealed, followed by a talk show. At the end of the event, everyone including the guests took part in a photo session. Everyone shared the goal of returning to J1 as the 2019 season kicked off.
The opening match for all the clubs were announced, and Omiya Ardija will be playing Ventforet Kofu in Match 1 of the 2019 season of the Meiji Yasuda J2 League which will take place on Sunday, February 24, at NACK5 Stadium Omiya. A warm-up pre-season match will be played on home ground on Saturday, February 9, against Matsumoto Yamaga FC.
The Omiya Ardija junior team took part in the Southern District Tournament of the 13th Saitama Prefecture Class 4 Rookie Competition, and defeated FC Arcoirism 2-0 in the first round. They went on to beat Urawa Omagi SSS 2-0 in the second round and qualified for the Central Tournament that will kick off at the end of January.
Meanwhile, the junior youth team played in the second round of the preliminary stage for the 21st Saitama Prefecture Club Youth (U-13) Football Championship, overwhelming Soka Junior FC 8-0. In the third round of the 28th Saitama Prefecture Club Youth (U-14) Football Championship, they shut out SEIRITZ ZEBRA FC with a score of 6-0.
After the season ended, top team players visited eight Ardija Soccer Schools in Saitama Prefecture during the first half of December. The school students went up against the pros in a mini-match. The kids’ eyes sparkled as they got to see the spectacular moves of the top team players, and they also had a chance to ask questions and get autographs. It was a great treat for them all.
For three days starting on Friday, December 28, the “J School Winter Camp 2019” was organized at the Kashima Heights Sports Plaza. Some 36 fourth- to sixth-grade students from the Omiya Ardija Soccer School participated in the 3-day winter camp, which also had participants from five other clubs: Sendai, Kashima, Kawasaki, Yokohama, and Shimizu. Omiya’s fourth-grade team won the competition played among the participating clubs.
Ardija’s club mascot Ardy made an appearance in the “110 Day Campaign” on Thursday, January 10, and the “Saitama City Coming-of-Age Ceremony” on the national holiday of Monday, January 14. During the “110 Day” event, Ardy joined Poppo-kun, the Saitama Prefectural Police mascot, and Saitama Astraia to pose for photographs and hand out items promoting safety to passers-by using the trains at Omiya Station. At the coming-of-age ceremony, Ardy, Saitama City Mayor Hayato Shimizu, and the “new adults” representing each of the Saitama City wards lined up at the entrance of Saitama Super Arena to welcome the 20-year-olds arriving for the celebration.