The Top Team
A pre-season match against Matsumoto Yamaga FC of the J1 League was held at NACK5 Stadium Omiya on February 9. MF Toshiki Ishikawa, who joined Omiya this season, and MF Kanji Okunuki scored a goal each, and Omiya shut out Matsumoto 2-0. The two clubs also played a practice match afterwards, and Omiya prevailed with another 3-0 victory. Reflecting on the two matches, head coach Takuya Takagi commented, “As today’s results show, I think we were able to demonstrate what we had been working on towards the season.”
On Monday, February 11, the top team took part in the “2019 Omiya Ardija Pep Rally” hosted by various supporting organizations such as the Ardija Supporters’ Club, the Junior Members Division of the Saitama Chamber of Commerce, the Saitama Chuo Junior Chamber, and the Omiya Shopping District Association. Some 260 guests gathered for the event, including members from the football family and the supporters’ club as well as local fans who support the club. Captain Genki Omae gave a speech and thanked those present for their on-going support, and also expressed the team’s determination towards the 2019 season. The team received many words of encouragement and support from the guests.
Omiya Ardija’s junior youth team played the first round of the 21st Saitama Prefecture Club Youth (U-13) Football Championship against Legend Kumagaya, and captured a 2-1 win. They overwhelmed FC Gois U-15 in the second round with a 6-0 score, but lost to FC LAVIDA 0-2 in the third round. Meanwhile, they advanced to the semifinal of the 28th Saitama Prefecture Club Youth (U-14) Football Championship and were defeated by Club Yono with a final score of 0-1.
A two-day “Family Football Clinic” was held on January 26 and 27 for kindergarten and first-grade children and their parents, with a total of 186 pairs, or 372 participants, taking part. Coaches from the Ardija Local Community Producing Team gave lessons and advice, and the event was filled with fun and laughter.
Omiya Ardija announced the extension of the contracts with Norio Sasaki, Total Advisor, and Taishi Tsukamoto, Club Ambassador, for the 2019 season. It was also announced that development coach Seiichiro Okuno has been appointed head coach of Vertfee Takahara Nasu (Kanto Foorball League, 2nd Division).
A round-table discussion was held on February 11 with the participation of the heads of the five hometown wards and Ardija’s players representing each ward as “Appeal Players.” The discussion focused on themes such as the season opener, the training camp, and the pre-season matches. The “Appeal Players” are: DF Akinari Kawazura for West Ward; MF Masato Kojima for the North Ward; MF Yuta Mikado for Omiya Ward; MF Keisuke Oyama for Minuma Ward; and Ishikawa for Iwatsuki Ward.
The “2019 Ardija Business Club (ABC) General Assembly and Reception” took place on February 13 at Altavista Garden, one of the club partners. Some 103 members from 59 companies were present, and representing Omiya Ardija were head coach Takuya Takagi of the top team; head of the Players’ Association, DF Kazuma Takayama; and the six players who joined the club this season. It was a great opportunity for the club members to meet the club partners and for everyone to get to know each other.