The Top Team
On December 24, 2020, Omiya Ardija announced the new head coach for the 2021 season: Ken Iwase, former head coach for Oita Trinita. Ken Iwase used to play for Omiya from 1998 to 2002. In addition, Kazuaki Mawatari of Kawaski Frontale and Seiya Nakano of Jubilo Iwata will be joining the team in the new season. Meanwhile, the club announced on January 15 that Atsushi Kurokawa is currently negotiating to sign with an overseas club.
The match-ups for the 2021 season’s opening matches were announced on January 12, and Omiya Ardija will be playing against Mito Hollyhock for the second year in a row. The first home game to be played at NACK5 Stadium Omiya will be Match 2 against Ventforet Kofu.
The new club organization for 2021 was announced on line on January 16. Head coach Iwase and the 11 new players who joined the club participated, and they expressed their enthusiasm playing for Omiya in the new season. Also revealed was the slogan for the top team: “SHOW”.
On January 12, the name of Omiya Ardija’s newly established women’s team and the coaches were announced. The women’s team will be called “Omiya Ardija Ventus”. The team will be led by general coach Norio Sasaki, head coach Takeyuki Okamoto, coach Shinobu Ono, and physical coach Yoshiki Hirai. The word ‘ventus’ means ‘wind’ in Latin. The naming expresses the team’s goal to deliver a fresh breeze to women’s football as a newcomer to the WE League, and to become a new force in the league. Taking over FC Jumonji Ventus, Omiya Ardija’s new team will build on Jumonji’s history and open a new chapter for Ventus. General coach Sasaki and his staff will reinforce the team toward the opening of the Women Empowerment League (WE League) to be launched in September of this year.
Omiya Ardija’s U18 team advanced to the semi-final of the 44th Japan Club Youth (U-18) Football Championship and played against FC Tokyo U-18. The match went to a penalty shoot-out, and Omiya lost and finished in third place.
On January 14, Omiya Ardija announced that Hidehiko Sano will become the new president of the club. Commented Sano: “I love Omiya Ardija and I have been supporting the club for a long time. I am very happy to take the helm of the management team at Omiya Ardija. I am humbled, but I am ready for the challenge.”
Honorary citizen of Saitama City, Takahiro Shindo, passed away on December 19 at the age of 88. Omiya Ardija expressed its deepest condolences and sincerely wished that Mr. Shindo will rest in peace. In 1997, Mr. Shindo fully supported Omiya becoming the hometown of the club, and he became the first president of the Ardija Supporters Club. It is no exaggeration to say that he was the founder of the club. Omiya Ardija salutes Mr. Shindo’s many achievements and contributions and is grateful for all he has done for the club.