Thursday, 13 January 2011

Midweek News Round-up

We have one of the biggest pieces of news of the winter so far to kick off this midweek round-up, with the announcement that Kota Ueda has joined Omiya from Jubilo Iwata. There have for the last couple of weeks been rumours that Ardija were interested in the 24-year-old, but the deal has now been confirmed. Ueda has played a total of almost 150 games for Jubilo over the last five years and promises to bring a level of organisation and co-ordination to the Squirrels' midfield, which given that this has been lacking more or less since Omiya gained promotion to J1 can without doubt be said to be a good thing. Speculation will no doubt rise as to how coach Jun Suzuki might use his new acquisition, as Ueda is the sort of player around which a team might be built - for example, could he be fielded alongside Takuya Aoki, creating a youthful core to the Ardija formation? Time will tell, but hey - it's nice to think about.

What about other transfer news? Well, the other certainty is that former reserve keeper Daisuke Tada has moved to J2 newcomers Gainare Tottori, but further afield the Brazilian press has been changing its collective mind pretty much constantly over the circumstances of former Squirrel Leandro. A 2010 title winner with Fluminense, the big defender has been rumoured over the last few weeks to have been the subject of an offer to return to Omiya. His situation all seems to boil down to money and whether or not Fluminense are prepared to offer an increase on his current contract. The media in Brazil have highlighted in full the twists and turns of the story, seemingly one moment saying that Leandro is likely to stay and then saying that he is set to leave. However, what is notable is that these reports do not tend to contain mention of Ardija anymore.

Back in Japan, the Saitama Shimbun newspaper reported that ten Omiya players attended what it described as voluntary pre-season training on Wednesday, Jun Suzuki overseeing a session involving Takuya Aoki, Naoki Ishihara, Shin Kanazawa, Shusuke Tsubouchi, Hayato Hashimoto, Norio Suzuki, Shunsuke Fukuda, Daisuke Watabe, Taisuke Miyazaki and even Tomoya Uchida, participating in his last-ever training as a member of the Ardija squad before joining Ventforet Kofu. 2010 top scorer Ishihara, incidentally, has recently been the subject of a Twitter campaign involving supporters of both the Squirrels and his previous club Shonan Bellmare to encourage his selection for the Japan national team. The campaign can be followed via the hashtag #naokiforjapan .

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