Sunday, 19 December 2010

Weekend News Round-up

Let's take a weekend look now at the Ardija media stories that have taken place over the last few days. There are only a couple of definite, confirmed pieces of information, with An Yong Hak having signed as had been anticipated for J2 champions Kashiwa Reysol and the Squirrels announcing that central defender Yuki Fukaya has signed a contract extension and will therefore be staying at Omiya for another year. The fact that this information about Fukaya has been presented as a separate news item would suggest that the club do intend to provide formal confirmation as to which squad members will be staying - and, presumably, who will be released.

And it is uncertainty about this latter point that is causing frustrations among Ardija supporters. There is at the moment little sense as to how coach Jun Suzuki and the club management intend to take the team forward in 2011, apart from the direction that is implied by press stories connecting Omiya with particular players. The Sports Hochi report here that Ardija have made an offer to J2 side Oita Trinita for their U21 international midfielder Keigo Higashi, with suggestions that the club are putting together a package of a 20m yen annual salary (about £240k or £150k) and a multi-season contract. That said, Sports Hochi also indicate that other clubs including Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Cerezo Osaka and Gamba Osaka are interested in the same player.

Rumours persist that ex-Urawa Reds star - not to mention friend of Rafael - Robson Ponte will make a move over to the orange half of Saitama, although a recent twist is that one of Ponte's first appearances in an Ardija shirt could turn out to be in a pre-season match against Reds. Nikkan Sports report here that discussions are ongoing about the possibility of an Omiya - Urawa meeting in the Saitama City Cup, the last edition of which saw the Squirrels crush Suwon Samsung Bluewings 5-0 in February.



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