Monday, 23 February 2009

2009 Player Profiles - Goalkeepers

1. Takahiro Takagi - 高木 貴弘 - 01 Jul 1982 - 185cm / 76kg

After three years away at Thespa Kusatsu and Consadole Sapporo, long-term loan guy Takagi finally makes it back to Saitama. He was a Kusatsu star alongside fellow Squirrel Yusuke Shimada back in 2006 and helped to gain promotion for a Toshiya Miura-coached Consadole the following year, but was in and out of the side last season as the Hokkaido Owls failed to make the grade as a J1 club. Likely to be second choice.

20. Nobuhisa Kobayashi - 小林 庸尚 - 11 Apr 1983 - 186cm / 82kg

Squad player who signed for Omiya three years ago following graduation from International Budo University in Chiba prefecture. Has since been restricted to run-outs in the reserves and was released at the end of the 2006. Re-signed when Satoru Sakuma realised he didn't have enough keepers and the other choice, Tomoyasu Ando, had opted to retire, but Kobayashi has never come close to seeing any first team action and that situation probably won't change this year either.

21. Koji Ezumi - 江角 浩司 - 18 Dec 1978 - 191cm / 84kg

Picked up a small amount of first team experience with Oita before moving to Saitama three years ago. Spent most of 2006 on the subs' bench behind Hiroki Aratani, whose injury midway through 2007 gave Ezumi the opportunity to take over between the posts. A very shaky start had Squirrels fans panicking, but he grew in confidence and kept the first team slot throughout 2008, when he was one of the Squirrels' top performers.

31. Keiki Shimizu - 清水 慶記 - 10 Dec 1985 - 183cm / 75kg

Signed a year ago from JFL side Ryutsu Keizai University and the big question is likely to be whether or not he's third choice keeper or is still behind Kobayashi in the pecking order. As questions go, that's not really all that large, is it.



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