The Top Team
On June 7, Masahiro Shimoda officially became the head coach of Omiya Ardija’s top team. Up until last year, he was the head coach of Renofa Yamaguchi FC for three years.
The second round match of the 101st JFA Japan Football Championship for the Emperor’s Cup took place on June 9. Omiya was knocked out of the competition by Jef United Ichihara-Chiba, who shut out Omiya 1-0 at their home ground.
Masaya Shibayama joined the U-20 Japan National Team for a training camp that took place in Chiba Prefecture from May 31 to June 3.
A 2021 WE League (Women Empowerment League) pre-season match took place on May 29, and Omiya Ardija Ventus played Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara. Omiya captured a 1-0 victory.
On June 1, Naomi Hanagiri announced her retirement from professional football. “I was very happy to be part of this wonderful club, Omiya Ardija, and though my involvement was brief, it’s an honor that Omiya is going to be my last club before retiring. Thank you very much, everyone,” commented Hanagiri.
The WE League will kick off on September 12 at the home stadiums of the participating clubs. Omiya Ardija Ventus’ opening match will be played away against INAC Kobe Leonessa. The first home match will be played on September 20 against Albirex Niigata Ladies.
The second round of the knockout stage for the 45th Japan Club Youth (U-18) Football Championship Kanto Regional Tournament was held on May 30, and the Omiya Ardija U18 team clashed with Thespakusatsu Gunma U-18, overwhelming the opponent 7-0. The victory put Omiya within 11th place in the rankings, ensuring Omiya a place in the final competition of the U-18 Championship that will commence in the second half of July.
On June 7, the “Fukushima Himawari Sato-oya Project (Fukushima Sunflower Foster Family Project” took place at the Omiya Dai-san Park, and Toshiki Ishikawa, Kazuaki Mawatari, and Hijiri Onaga from the Ardija top team, plus Yuki Sakai and Ayaka Inoue from Ardija Ventus participated. The sunflower is a symbol of revival across the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake, and through this project its seeds are given to people from all over Japan who serve as ‘foster families’ and plant the seeds, grow the sunflowers and harvest the seeds again to give them back to Fukushima. The beautiful sunflowers bloom at schools and corporations all over the country. Once the COVID-19 situation improves, an event will be held to sow and harvest the seeds again with the fans and supporters.
On June 5, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company, who is a J.League Title Partner as well as a Club Partner of Omiya Ardija, helped organized the ‘Omiya Ardija Football Clinic” at the Sainokuni Kumagaya Dome located in the Kumagaya Sports Culture Park. Inspired by J.League’s vision, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company collaborates with Omiya Ardija to deliver education and development programs for the local community and its children to foster a healthy mind and body. The football clinic is one of these initiatives. Some 70 elementary school kids participated in the 90-minute event.