The Top Team
On June 24, J.League matches resumed after a four-month interruption. Omiya Ardija played an away match against Jef United Ichihara Chiba, and Masahito Ono, who started for the first time since he turned pro, made the single goal of the match. Omiya captured a 1-0 victory and kicked off the re-start of the season on a good note. The winning streak continued as Omiya demolished Thespakusatsu Gunma and Tokyo Verdy at home, marking four consecutive wins from the start of the season – a new record for the club. The streak ended as Omiya lost to Tochigi SC in an away match, and after five season matches they stand at second place. Atsushi Kurokawa shot the opening goal in the July 4 match against Gunma which was the 1,000th goal for the club.
Training has resumed across all Academy categories, but various matches are still on hold.
Soccer schools have adopted measures to prevent any outbreak of the coronavirus as they resume their school activities. On June 26 the schools have started offering free trials and accepting new students again.
Kikuo Matsuzawa, president of the Saitama City Football Association, passed away on June 27 at the age of 68. Mr. Matsuzawa played a crucial role in the establishment and development of Omiya Ardija. The club’s history is not complete without Mr. Matsuzawa’s tremendous contribution. When the J.League announced the adoption of a two-tier league in December 1996, the Omiya City Football Association, under the leadership of Mr. Matsuzawa, took immediate action and founded a task force called “Let’s Bring the J.League to Omiya” in January 1997. They collected support from nearly 50,000 citizens, and the signatures along with a request to bid for the establishment of a J.League club in Omiya were submitted to Omiya City in May. By June, a petition was sent to the NTT Kanto Branch requesting them to submit an application to join the J2 League. After Omiya Ardija was officially formed, Mr. Matsuzawa became the first president of the “Ardija Supporters Club”. For 22 seasons he served on the board of the hometown football association and continued to support the club in many ways. He would be spotted distributing leaflets before a home game and was always one of the most passionate supporters of the club.
On June 22, Omiya Ardija signed a global business advisory contract with Blue United Corporation. Blue United will help reinforce the club’s globalization efforts and to support overseas scouting activities.
As J.League matches continue to be organized under restricted conditions, Omiya Ardija opened a new virtual fan community site called “Daidai Hiroba Online” to present various events that would have been organized at NACK5 Stadium Omiya through this site. The events and booths that are usually seen during home games are available on YouTube as well as on “Player!” a sport entertainment app that has elements of both a TV program and social media. Fans can enjoy the many exciting contents such as live feed from the stadium, exclusive videos, communication events with top team players, special giveaways, and sales of merchandise demonstrated by players.