Thursday, 16 December 2010

Midweek News Round-up

Time for another midweek round-up of Squirrels news and close-season gossip. As regards news, solid facts are a little thin on the ground, especially when it comes to one the most exciting aspects of the winter: transfers and the purchase of new players. We'll get onto the rumours in just a moment and stop off briefly at the so-called Omiya Awards, organised by the club for a group of sponsors known as the Ardija Business Club (ABC... genius). Rafael won the MVP prize and received a lovely big box of sponsors' apples for being the Squirrels' top goalscorer of the year in all competitions. If he were in Japan and not at home in Brazil for Christmas he'd be able to eat them, but as it was new club president Shigeru Suzuki accepted the prize on Rafael's behalf and is probably busy munching his way through them as we speak.

Readers who are familiar with the story of Taishi Tsukamoto will know that the young Omiya defender was tragically diagnosed with cancer in his leg during the close season last year. The club responded admirably, retaining him as a squad player for the year and as such paying him a salary even though Tsukamoto obviously had no chance of playing any football as he commenced treatment in March. No doubt inspired by the courage of a person who had seen the possibility of a dreamed-of footballing career wiped out by appalling ill-fortune but still thrown himself headlong into his chemotherapy and (one naturally hopes) rehabilitation, the good people of the ABC saw fit to give Tsukamoto a special award in the shape of... a set of golf clubs. Hmmm. Well, okay.

There's not that much other concrete news to pass on, other than Nikkan Sports' reporting here that eight Omiya players under the age of 25 - including defensive midfield hopeful Takuya Aoki and reserve wide man Masakazu Kihara - are even now participating in special training overseen by coach Jun Suzuki. As to who some of their new team-mates might be in 2011, well, we're no closer to knowing anything yet. There's been nothing further in the press about Ardija's reported interest in former Bayer Leverkusen and Urawa Reds star Robson Ponte, although names that have been connected with a move to Omiya are Kyoto Sanga defensive midfielder Daigo Watanabe, Shonan Bellmare's U20 international defender Taisuke Muramatsu and young Oita Trinita midfield player Keigo Higashi.

Surprisingly, Ardija still haven't confirmed which of their Japanese squad members are due to be released at the end of the 2010 season, although no Squirrels appear to be participating in the current JPFA tryout sessions for players looking to get a deal somewhere. Depressingly, both Hayato Hashimoto and Chikara Fujimoto have at least implied in their blogs that they plan to be messing up Squirrels attacks for another twelve months. In the meantime, Mato Neretljak has definitely signed for previous club Suwon Samsung Bluewings back in the K-League and their are media reports linking the released pair of Lee Ho and An Yong Hak with moves to Shimizu S-Pulse and Kashiwa Reysol respectively. Yokohama FC are also said to have made an approach for reserve striker Yoshihito Fujita.



  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP