The Top Team
After a bitter defeat in Match 32 against Cerezo Osaka, Omiya Ardija’s top team captured consecutive wins against Tokyo Verdy and Jef United Ichihara Chiba, two clubs ranked among the league’s top contenders. In the match against second place Jubilo Iwata, Omiya came from behind and tied the score 2-2 with goals from MF Akihiro Ienaga and FW Dragan Mrdja. Undefeated in three matches, Omiya’s countdown towards the league champion title was about to begin. Or so we thought. Unexpected losses to Roasso Kumamoto and Tokushima Vortis left Omiya with only a 6-point lead ahead of second place Jubilo Iwata and an 8-point lead with third place Avispa Fukuoka. The club’s future now depends on whether the team can overcome this crucial moment.
Meanwhile, Omiya went up against J1’s Vegalta Sendai in the third round of the 95th Emperor’s Cup tournament. It was a close match, and after 120 minutes and a scoreless draw, the winner had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out. Omiya unfortunately lost 3-4 and failed to make it to the fourth round.
The Omiya Ardija youth team is participating in the 2015 J Youth Cup, which kicked off on October 10. Because they are in the Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Youth (U-18) Premier Football League EAST, they started from the second round of the tournament and played against Thespakusatsu Gunma U-18. The Omiya youth team kept the upper hand throughout the entire game and captured a 5-2 victory. Omiya will face FC Tokyo U-18 in the third round on October 25.
The Omiya Ardija junior youth team played their last few matches in the 2015 Kanto Youth (U-15) Soccer League 1st Division. Omiya had five wins in a row from Matches 16 to 20, making giant strides to accumulate points. They finished in fourth place and also qualified for the national competition, the 27th Prince Takamado Trophy All Japan Youth (U-15) Football Tournament.
The teams participating in the Kanto Youth (U-13) Soccer League finished playing Match 9 by October 17. Omiya snatched a 1-0 victory against SCH. FC, improving their record with 7 wins and 2 losses. Omiya is in second place in Division 2C with 21 points.
On September 23, prior to the kickoff of Match 33 against Tokyo Verdy, soccer school members of both teams in kindergarten, first and second grades played a friendly match as part of the “Battle of the 4 ‘J1… Not!’ Clubs from the Greater Tokyo Area” promotion. And before Match 34 against Jef United Ichihara Chiba, fourteen 5th and 6th graders from the soccer schools of both teams chosen by lottery played a friendly “Battle 4” match as well. Omiya’s school members demonstrated their skills and won both friendlies, giving a boost to the top team.
On October 3, about 200 kids from the Nansai area participated in the JA Nansai Soccer Clinic and learned some skills and tips from the Omiya Ardija U-12 coach. Omiya Ardija also organized the “3rd Post Office x Omiya Ardija Family Soccer Class” on October 3, and about 60 parent-child pairs took part. On October 10, a “Nishi-ku Kids Soccer Class” was held, and the U-12 coach worked with 113 children who live in Nishi-ku.
Omiya Ardija called on people to make a donation for the benefit of the people in the Tohoku Area who fell victim to the flood disaster caused by Typhoon No. 18. The total amount collected by the team reached 662,219 yen, which was given to the Japan Red Cross for distribution to the victimized areas.
Since last year Omiya Ardija has been organizing soccer clinics in Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and other Asian nations to promote international interaction and to make a contribution to society. In order to improve these activities, Omiya signed up to join the “Sports for Tomorrow Consortium,” a program developed by the Japanese government to promote international contribution through sports. Omiya will have the opportunity to reinforce the relationship with various organizations including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and take advantage of expanding opportunities in Asia.
The on-going “Omiya Clean Day” implemented in 2004 by Omiya Ardija to clean up the area around Omiya Station counted its 300th time on October 14. Ardy the club mascot was joined by 12 volunteers who cleaned the area starting from the front of the station’s East Exit towards the club’s shop, “Orange Square, Main Store.”