Tuesday, 24 February 2009

2009 Player Profiles - Defenders

2. Taishi Tsukamoto - 塚本 泰史 - 04 Jul 1985 - 177cm / 68kg

Local lad who attended Urawa Higashi High School. Signed for the Squirrels a year ago from Komazawa University, where he played mainly on the right-hand side. At the end of 2008 he finally made his presence felt and became a first team player, most notably contributing a series of spectacular assists in critical matches as Omiya fought to avoid relegation. Likely to be the set-piece specialist in 2009.

3. Mato Neretljak - マト - 03 Jun 1979 - 191cm / 87kg - NEW

Giant Croatian with international experience and who has spent the last four years as one of the top stars in the K-League, overseeing the defensive organisation of Suwon Samsung Bluewings. Reputedly offered $1m to come to Ardija and on good terms in Korea with coach Jang Wae Ryong. Undoubtedly a key signing for Omiya and as such fans will be entitled to expect Neretljak to be an improvement on Leandro.

4. Yasuhiro Hato - 波戸 康広. - 04 May 1976 - 178cm / 72kg

One-time Japanese international left-back who moved from Kashiwa three years ago, although has picked up most of his experience with Marinos. Has been a regular ever since he joined Omiya, but has never really won over the fans in terms of contribution or apparent commitment. Likely to face stiff competition in 2009, however, following the arrival at the club of Park Won Jae.

5. Daisuke Tomita - 冨田 大介 - 24 Apr 1977 - 180cm / 70kg

Tomita can play anywhere in defence and was previously left back, but in 2007 he formed a partnership in the middle with Leandro that was as responsible as any part of the team for keeping Omiya up. This continued into 2008, but there were signs that the years are starting to catch up with TomiDai. Nevertheless, Omiya's failure to land Yuji Nakazawa during the winter means he will probably remain a first choice alongside Mato Neretljak.

19. Yusuke Murayama - 村山 祐介 - 10 Jun 1981 - 180cm / 70kg

Utility defender signed from Shonan Bellmare in mid-August 07 on a loan deal that was made permanent at the end of that season. Early on in 2008 Murayama battled with Terukazu Tanaka for a starting place on the right of the back four, but ended up being exposed for lack of quality; Taishi Tsukamoto was in the latter stages of the year selected ahead of both of them. Can also play in the middle of defence but unlikely to be more than a reserve.

28. Shunsuke Fukuda - 福田 俊介 - 17 Apr 1986 - 186cm / 83kg - NEW

A former Hosei University student, rookie central defender Fukuda actually confirmed that he'd be joining the club for 2009 during the summer of last year. Will be concentrating in the first instance on edging past Haruki Nishimura and Yusuke Murayama to get a place on the bench.

29. Haruki Nishimura - 西村 陽毅 - 31 May 1987 - 182cm / 73kg

Former Ardija youth team member who made the senior squad without getting into the first team in 2006 or 2007. Last year was loaned out to Gunma-based JFL whipping boys Arte Takasaki and at least got regular playing time in the centre of defence, even if Arte as per usual spent the season down at the bottom of the table.



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