The Top Team
On January 13 the top team started their three-week training camp in Okinawa. The first part of the training camp focused on physical training and the second part on strategy, and the results of their training were reflected in the practice match that followed. This year’s training camp proved to be very productive.
The Saitama City Cup was held this year on February 9 at NACK5 Stadium Omiya, with the participation of Uruguay’s powerhouse, Club Nacional de Football. Omiya was shut out 0-1 and tasted a bitter defeat, but the match helped pump up the team’s morale towards the February 23 opening of this year’s J.2 League season.
Two Omiya Ardija Academy players were selected to the national team: U18 Yosuke Murakami to the Japan U-18 national team that is competing for a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2021, and U15 Hiroki Maezawa to the Japan U-16 national team that is aiming to play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2021.
The U12 team took part in the 14th Saitama Prefecture Class 4 Rookie Tournament, Chuo Competition, but lost in the quarterfinals.
On February 14, top team players Keisuke Oyama and Masahito Ono dropped in at the Ardija Soccer School at Omiya and Kitamoto to kick the ball around with the school students. Oyama and Ono gave technical advice to the kids, teaching them about ball touch and demonstrating piercing shots into the goal net.
On January 31, Omiya Ardija became the first sport organization to receive the “Saitama Global Award” for their activities contributing to international assistance through football with the collaboration of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), The Japan Foundation, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and other international agencies. The club received a certificate of commendation from Saitama Governor Motohiro Ono and was designated “Goodwill Ambassador of Saitama”, the role of which is to help promote relationships between Saitama and the world.
On February 23, before the new season kicks off, Omiya Ardija’s president Masashi Mori, head coach Takuya Takagi, and top team captain Yuta Mikado made a courtesy visit to Mayor Hayato Shimizu of Saitama City, the club’s home town. The mayor expressed words of encouragement and wished them a good season. Top team players also paid a courtesy visit to the mayors of Saitama City’s wards of Omiya-ku, Nishi-ku, Kita-ku, Minuma-ku, and Iwatsuki-ku. New member of the team, Shunsuke Kikuchi, visited the ward office of Minuma-ku where he was greeted by a huge number of staff, a display of the local community’s high expectations.
The 2020 Ardija Business Club General Assembly and reception were held on February 6, and the “Omiya Ardija Pep Rally 2020” hosted by the Omiya Ardija Pep Rally Organizing Committee took place on February 9. The supporting partners, the fans and the local authorities all expressed their support and encouragement to the team as the start of the 2020 season approaches.