Sunday, 2 January 2011

Weekend News Round-up

Time for another weekend Squirrels news round-up - and there have been some significant stories over the last few days, with the arrival at Omiya of two new players who have both been linked to Ardija for a few weeks now and who are both just twenty years of age. Keigo Higashi is an U21 international who despite his tender years already has a couple of seasons' experience under his belt at Oita Trinita. He will be expected to challenge for a place in the team in the wider or more attacking midfield roles, while fellow newcomer Kim Yong Gwon can reportedly play in the middle or on the left of the back four, or even as a defensive midfield player. Kim is a South Korean U21 international who during 2010 emerged as one of the few bright spots of FC Tokyo's relegation year.

The only other confirmed piece of squad news is that Hayato Hashimoto and Norio Suzuki have renewed their contracts. Suzuki came to Omiya after the World Cup break and played as a wide defender and midfield player who under new coach Jun Suzuki essentially was preferred over Hashimoto as a member of the starting XI. Certainly there would have to be a significant change of approach for 29-year-old Hashimoto to be anything more than a squad player during 2011. The same is likely to be true for teenage starlet Shintaro Shimizu, who will officially move to Ardija from Seibudai High School when he has finished participating in the All-Japan High School Football Tournament. Forward Shimizu scored a penalty for Seibudai in their comfortable 3-0 win over Kagawa Nishi HS in Friday's First Round tie and will be playing against Kyushu International Boys' HS on Sunday.

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