The Top Team: Warming up smoothly toward the new season to capture the J2 champion title
For the first time in the club’s history, the Ardija Top Team was relegated to the J2 division this season after losing its place in J1 by 1 point. This year’s goal is to win the J2 title and return to J1 in the next season. Most of the core players, such as former national team member Akihiro Ienaga, continue to form the foundation of the team, while former national Ryuji Bando and other additions reinforce the team’s competitiveness. The camp in Guam was blessed with good weather, and the players worked on improving their physical abilities and stamina, which are essential to survive the long season. The camp in Miyazaki focused on practical training with lots of practice games aimed at providing players a chance to learn each other’s playing style. The team had opportunities both on and off the pitch to build good communication and solidarity. Head Coach Hiroki Shibuya, who took over from the end of last season, was there to oversee the team from the first day of their start-up for this season. His slogan “Challenge – for the title, for the future” expresses the team’s determination to capture the J2 champion title.
Development: Future orange warriors show outstanding results in all age categories
There have been remarkable results accomplished recently at the Omiya Ardija Academy. The junior team participated in the “9th Saitama Category 4 Rookie Central Tournament” held on February 15 at the Saitama Stadium 2002 Second Soccer Ground. Overcoming Regista FC 1-0 in the semi-final with the winning goal scored by Kaito Umezawa, the junior team went on to beat Urawa Omagi SSS in the final 3-1 to win the title for the third time, the last being five years ago. In addition, Shunsuke Watanabe of the junior youth team was selected as a member of the U-15 National Team Candidates Training Camp(East Japan), which is targeting the participation in the U-17 FIFA World Cup 2017, and the youth team will be playing for the first time in the Premier League East. A lot of attention will be directed in 2015 toward the young and rising Ardija footballers. Two players, Kazuma Takayama and Masato Kojima, have been promoted to the Top Team.
Diffusion: Soccer clinic for kids and their parents; ambassador Tsukamoto runs in a marathon
The “Omiya Ardija Family Soccer Clinic” was held on February 11, and many kids from the soccer school as well as local kindergarten and first-graders took part in the special event. Held for the second time, the clinic attracted 125 pairs of kids and their parents. Many goals and smiles were born as the children and parents called out to each other and formed a strong bond. The participants also made a lot of friends through the event. On February 22, club ambassador, Taishi Tsukamoto, took part in the half distance race of the 2015 Saitama City Marathon along with many other citizen runners. He finished the race in 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Marketing: 2015 Season Tickets go on sale; huge reception held to support and encourage Ardija
The second phase of this year’s season ticket sales will be carried out through April 30. Tickets are available on the club’s official website and at Orange Square club shop outlets. Tickets can also be purchased by mail or fax. Become a season ticket holder and receive special discounts and other benefits. On February 22, a reception was held to support and encourage the players of Omiya Ardija before the 2015 season kicks off. Encouraged by the warm support extended by fan club members, local citizens, and many fans and supporters, the players reconfirmed their determination toward the coming new season.