Just confirmation that Alison has extended his contract with Ardija and will return on 1st February for the rest of the calendar year. Enilton's deal also expires at the end of December - as does that of big new defender Leandro, 25, who joins the club from Nautico. Leandro has until now spent his whole career in Brazil and has turned out for half a dozen different clubs, most notably Fluminense and and Cruzeiro.
It's been a good couple of days for Omiya Ardija supporters, with a new Brazilian striker, a new manager and a new head coach all arriving at the club. The Toshiya Miura era is well and truly over and the man selected to lead the Squirrels forward has after all the rumour and speculation been confirmed as Dutchman Robert Verbeek.
A strict disciplinarian, the 45-year-old Verbeek has most recently been working in Singapore at the national football training centre and also coached the U15 and U16 teams. His own playing career began in his native Holland and was spent exclusively with Sparta Rotterdam, crosstown rivals of the better-known Feyenoord but still a club of good standing.
Following his retirement at the age of 31, Verbeek moved into youth team coaching at Sparta and then lower league teams Neptunus and Unitas, but in 1988 came his big break and an appointment to the position of reserve and later U19 coach under the legendary figure of Guus Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven, one of the giants of the Dutch game.
In 1996 he took charge himself at second-tier outfit FC Dordrecht, but in four seasons was only once able to raise the club above halfway in the league. Verbeek in 2000 became coach of FC Turkiyemspor in Amsterdam but after a year left to go to the UAE, where he coached at both Al Jazira and Al Shabab. Two further seasons back at Dordrecht preceded his move to Singapore in 2005.
If any conclusions can be drawn from this varied CV, it is that Omiya's new man has extensive experience - most notably working with young players - but limited success when in charge of a senior team, although it should be acknowledged that Dordrecht are not and never have been the biggest club in Holland. In helping Verbeek to acclimatise to a new environment, therefore, the role of incoming Jun Nakamura is of vital importance.
Somewhat ironically, Nakamura worked with now-departed Toshiya Miura as a coach at Brummel Sendai in the late 90s, before moving to Omiya, where he was a member of the first team coaching staff between 1998 and 2003. Since then, the 40-year-old Nakamura, who never played professionally, has had spells at JEF United and most recently at Kyoto Purple Sanga.
There has been no indication yet as to when the Verbeek / Nakamura management team will start in earnest their preparations for the 2007 season, although it is understood that the Dutchman has already seen a number of video recordings of Omiya matches, drawing from the experience the unremarkable conclusion that it would be necessary to concentrate on improving the team's attacking play. But the single most significant decision has been taken of what will be a vital close season: Robert Verbeek has arrived, with his target to make Omiya an established J1 side and a formidable opponent.
Lucky lad Naoya Saeki has returned to Omiya following the end of his loan period at relegated Avispa Fukuoka. Having moved from Vissel Kobe during the close season twelve months ago, Saeki failed to feature much in the plans of now-departed coach Toshiya Miura and opted for a temporary move to Kyushu, where he became a first team regular.
While the rumours grow stronger that Robert Verbeek will become the new Squirrels coach, the first signing of the post-Toshiya Miura era took place on Thursday with the arrival at the club of Shizuoka Sangyo University keeper Kunihiro Shibasaki. Shibasaki, 21 and a whopping 192cm tall, does not even graduate until March and will presumably be a fourth-choice keeper in place of the departed Nobuhisa Kobayashi. His university team are felt to be one of the strongest in the country and indeed between 2000 and 2002 competed in the JFL, although now are back within the university football structure.
Aside from the likely appointment of the younger Verbeek brother, further rumours suggest that Omiya are interested in 29-year-old Brazilian forward Enílton Menezes de Miranda (Enilton for short). Currently with Palmeiras in his native country, like Christian he has a history of contractual problems and was accused a year ago by Sanfrecce Hiroshima of backing out on a signed deal with them in order to play for Palmeiras. Believed to have good touch and speed, Enilton has also played for a time in Mexico and Switzerland.