Sunday, 30 January 2011

Agent Orange: Training Camp‏

Welcome to Omiya Ardija, version 13. Last week we saw the introduction of 2011's squad and my impression is... not too shabby. I don't know enough yet to give a full account of what we have this year so I'll hold off on it for now. In fact, I'm coming off a month's hiatus of writing so I too need to ease into it. God knows we don't want me blowing something out early and being stuck in a situation where all my writing is made up of sappy platitudes and completely one-sided pieces punctuated liberally with exclamation marks (Omiya looked fabulous today! Well-earned result! Disaster by the referee who was in the bag for [insert team name here]! We're definitely on our way to the ACL!).

Instead of giving you an overtly snarky, embittered report overrating the pluses and minuses of each player, let me throw some numbers at you. Don't worry, you still will get eleven months of rambling. For now, let's look at the numbers.

33 - The age of the oldest player on the squad, captain Chikara Fujimoto. Koji Ezumi is the second oldest player at 32, followed by Arata Sugiyama and Kazuhiro Murakami.

4 - The number of players who came through the Omiya system: Shin Kanazawa, Daisuke Watabe, Taisuke Miyazaki and Shotaro Kudo.

4 - The number of players who came from Oita Trinita: Ezumi, Yuki Fukaya, Shusuke Tsubouchi and Keigo Higashi.

6 - The number of years that Omiya played in J2.

7 - The number of years that Omiya will have played in J1 at the close of this coming season.

8 - The number of years that Hayato Hashimoto will have started as a member of Omiya. He is the longest consecutive tenured member of the squad. Fujimoto is second with seven, Koji Ezumi is third with six. Kanazawa is also starting year eight with the squad, having started in 2002, but he left for two years on loan with Tokyo Verdy.

2 - The number of players who played in J2 for Omiya: Hashimoto and Kanazawa.

1 - The number of players who have left Omiya while they were in J1 and came back after full transfers: Yosuke Kataoka.

9 - The number of players who have been through a relegation season: Fukaya and Higashi (Oita), Shusuke Tsubouchi (Oita, Consadole Sapporo and Vissel Kobe), Fujimoto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Murakami (Vegalta Sendai), Daigo Watanabe (Kyoto Sanga... twice), Kataoka (Kyoto), Sugiyama (Ventforet Kofu) and Kim Yong Gwon (FC Tokyo).

3 - The number of players who have been on teams that won championships: Kota Ueda (Jubilo), Fukaya (Oita) and Arata Sugiyama (Kashiwa Reysol) all won Nabisco Cups.

164 - The number of league games that Chikara Fujimoto has appeared in for Omiya... the Ardija J1 and current active team leader.

6 - The number of managers Omiya has had in J1: Toshiya Miura, Robert Verbeek, Satoru Sakuma, Yasuhiro Higuchi, Jang Wae Ryong and Jun Suzuki.

1 - The number of Omiya managers with a winning record in J1: Jun Suzuki.

5 - The number of current players who played under Verbeek while at Omiya: Kanazawa, Fujimoto, Hashimoto, Ezumi and Kataoka.

25.4 - The average age of the squad in 2010.

25.2 - The average age of the squad in 2011.

22 - The average age of the 2011 acquisitions.

27 - The average age of the 2011 player departures.

12 - The number of players on the squad aged 25 years old or under.

8 - The number of teams who have been in J1 for more current consecutive years than Omiya (Kawasaki Frontale came in at the same time).

0 - The number of teams who have been in J1 for more current consecutive years but have failed to finish in the top nine of the league. Of the ten teams who have been in J1 consecutively since 2005, Omiya is the only one who has never finished in the top half of the league.

11 - The lowest place that Kashima Antlers has ever finished, in the 2001 First Stage. They ended up winning the championship after winning the Second Stage and beating Jubilo Iwata in the title play-off.

12 - The highest place Omiya has ever finished.

That was a good stretch. Stay tuned for my big J1 preview, where I predict who will finish where and everyone can laugh at me.

TENTH IN '10!! is so yesterday. Let's go for NINTH IN '11!!



Nerdy 30 January 2011 at 22:28  

Absolute best of luck for 2011, from all at Tokyo Nerdy1969!! I look forward to Omiya v Verdy at Omiya Koen in J1 on a balmy summer evening in 2012.

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