Omiya Ardija staged a club press conference on Saturday to launch the 2008 season, unveiling the new team shirt and introducing coach Yasuhiro Higuchi - who went on record as promising aggressive and attacking football - and the raft of new players, all of whom were present except Japan U19 star Takuya Aoki, who is currently in Qatar for an international friendly tournament.
As for the new shirt, it is a variation on the 2007 design from Italian company Lotto but one that looks at first glance to be a considerable improvement, featuring dramatic black detailing and the 10th Anniversary logo incorporated on the sleeve. The slogan, disappointingly, is Shinka NEXT, which with a startling (unstartling?) lack of vision builds upon last year's Shinka, with its threefold meaning of, loosely, Progress, Unity and Communication.
Club president Seigo Watanabe set the targets for the season as being a top ten placing throughout the year, ending in a top nine finish. He also expressed the hope that Ardija's levels of support would continue to increase as it did between 2006 and 2007, stating that the Squirrels were aiming to attract a total of 300,000 fans to attend home games at an average of 12,500. This would be an increase of 17% on last season's figure of 11,741.