Friday, 5 March 2010

2010 Player Profiles: Forwards

9. Naoki Ishihara - 石原 直樹 - 14 Aug 1984 - 173cm / 61kg

2010 will be Ishihara's second season as a Squirrel, having played for six years at Shonan Bellmare. He immediately slotted into the first team and retained his place throughout what was a touch campaign. His goals tally was a little disappointing and Ishihara has managed to get himself a reputation as a bit of a diver, but he's lightning fast and it would be surprising if he isn't in the starting XI this year too.

10. Rafael - ラファエル - 27 May 1983 - 190cm / 80kg

Came to Omiya in the summer of 2009 and immediately injected some pace and quality into the team. An unselfish player, he always seems to be aware of his team-mates and whether or not they're in a better position to score, as when he laid the ball off for Kohei Tokita against Kashima Antlers. Heading into 2010, few members of the squad are more important to Ardija's hopes than Rafael.

13. Yoshihito Fujita - 藤田 祥史 - 13 Apr 1983 - 185cm / 75kg

Like Ishihara, Fujita joined Omiya a year ago from a J2 side, in his case Sagan Tosu. Just as hardworking and certainly bigger than his new team-mate, Fujita nevertheless found it tougher to make the step up in quality and he missed a lot of chances. Thus it wasn't all that surprising when coach Jang Wae Ryong dropped him to the bench after Rafael signed; as such, Fujita will probably be sub for most of the year.

18. Dudu - ドゥドゥ - 02 Feb 1980 - 178cm / 76kg Released from his contract 06 August 2010

When Dudu arrived at Ardija midway through 2009 (by all accounts for a large sum of money), there was hope that he could at last be the answer to the fans' dreams of a decent quality goal-getter. But whether he's been injured or what, Dudu just hasn't got started at Omiya and even less encouragingly he had an operation over the winter and missed most of pre-season. Expectations are therefore low.

19. Masahiko Ichikawa - 市川 雅彦 - 17 Sep 1985 - 168cm / 68kg

If players won international caps for keenness, Ichikawa would be up there with the all-time greats of the game. It looked like he was going to get a proper run in the first team in the spring of last year but a bad injury pushed him out of contention for the best part of six months. Desperate to score and desperate to win, Ichikawa might actually be more dangerous a striker if he relaxed a little bit.

30. Daisuke Watabe - 渡部 大輔 - 19 Apr 1989 - 170cm / 67kg

A product of the Ardija Youth scheme, Watabe must surely be hoping that this year he will start to get more first-team opportunities. One bid performance against FC Tokyo saw him discarded by Jang, but he has reportedly been impressive on the Guam and Miyazaki camps and - not counting the behind-closed-doors game against JEF - Watabe actually was pre-season top scorer.



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