Just to confirm Steve's news that three Omiya players have been let go at the end of their contracts, the day after the club's survival as a J1 outfit was confirmed. Kunihiro Shibasaki was the fourth-choice keeper who slipped even further down the pecking order with the arrival from Vissel Kobe of Kota Ogi. Shibasaki, 22, never appeared fro the first team.
Central defender Yasunari Hiraoka, 35, was originally given the boot twelve months ago but was subsequently re-signed as a squad player by then-chief scout Satoru Sakuma. Hiraoka originally joined Ardija in 2004 from Nagoya Grampus 8, but was only ever used as a reserve and played only in a couple of Nabisco Cup fixtures in 2007.
Experienced left-sided midfielder / defender Takashi Hirano signed a short-term deal with Omiya in May and ended up making three first-team appearances in the league. His major contribution was heading the opening goal in a critical 2-0 win at former club Yokohama F Marinos, which in the end went a long way towards ensuring that the Squirrels finished ahead of Sanfrecce Hiroshima.