The Top Team
With the goal of winning the J2 League and making a return to J1 in one year, Omiya Ardija clutched the league’s top position for the first time this season with a 5-0 win in Match 15 against FC Gifu. Omiya captured a consecutive victory in Match 16, overcoming the tough defense of Avispa Fukuoka with a 2-0 win, thanks to forwards Shintaro Shimizu and Dragan Mrdja, who came onto the pitch as replacements. They celebrated their goals with a “cradle dance” dedicated to GK Hitoshi Shiota, who became a father on May 26. Omiya went on to defeat Kamatamare Sanuki and Tochigi SC 2-0, marking four shutouts in a row and maintaining their leading position in the league. DF Kazuma Takayama, who has played in six J3 matches up to Match 16, was once again selected to the J.League U-22 selection team.
On June 14 the Omiya Ardija Youth team played their fifth match in the second stage of the Kanto preliminary competition for the Japan Club Youth (U-18) Football Championship against Kawasaki Frontale U-18. With a 4-2 victory over the group leader, Kawasaki, Omiya gained the top position in Group B and qualified for the Japan Club Youth (U-18) Football Championship, scheduled to kick off on July 22.
Meanwhile, on June 14 the Omiya Ardija Junior Youth team played against Mitsubishi Yowa Soccer Club Sugamo Junior Youth in Match 16 of the 2015 Kanto Youth (U-15) Soccer League 1st Division. Hoping to improve on their two consecutive losses, Omiya finished with a 2-0 win before the three-month break of the league competition due to the Japan Club Youth (U-15) Football Championship Kanto preliminaries. The 2015 Kanto Youth (U-13) Soccer League also kicked off, and Omiya has four straight victories after Match 4.
A home game event exclusively for Omiya’s soccer school students was held prior to Match 16 against Avispa Fukuoka and Match 17 against Kamatamare Sanuki. In the event before Match 16, 28 third and fourth graders from the soccer school took part in a heated match. In the event before Match 17, 26 soccer school students selected as Warm-up High-Five Kids, Flag Bearers, Mascot Escort Kids, and Kickoff Kids participated in the pre-match ceremony at NACK5 Stadium Omiya, feeling nervous and excited under the overwhelming stadium atmosphere.
On June 7 the 20th Dental Care Fair Football Class, hosted by the Koshigaya City Dental Association, was organized at the Sagishiro Elementary School. 120 kids from first to seventh grade took part in the coaching class led by a U-12 coach and enjoyed playing football with their new friends.
In Japanese, the date “May 30” can be pronounced “zero litter” and on May 29 a “Zero Litter: Omiya Clean Day” was carried out. 327 people turned out to help clean the area around Omiya Station, and a total of eleven 90-liter garbage bags full of litter were collected. It was the 292th time this Omiya Clean Day was organized.
For the second year in a row, the Club House Open Day was held on June 7. Due to a friendly match against Jef United Ichihara Chiba taking place on the same day (Omiya won 2-1), the number of visitors marked about 1,500, which is twice as much compared to last year’s inaugural Club House Open Day. Visitors enjoyed the freshly made mochi (rice cakes) and the salty cucumbers given away by the local government, and the orange cotton candy and popcorn distributed by the Sashiogi Federation of Societies of Commerce Promotion. A “Soccer Park” took place on the pitch after the friendly match where children and families enjoyed walking barefoot on the natural turf and took part in a kick target game and other mini-games that were organized.