Now club captain, Seiichiro Okuno joined Omiya as the club entered the new J2 from the defunct Yokohama Flugels. A fixture in the Squirrels first team almost ever since, he nevertheless had a poor start to 2005, when it seemed as if he was conceding a penalty virtually every time he stepped onto the pitch. A genuine leader, he fought his way back to better form alongside Toninho in the heart of Ardija's defence.
3. Kazuyoshi Mikami - 29 Aug 1975 - 180cm / 75kg
Journeyman J1 pro who generally plays on either side of the back four, in 2005 Kazuyoshi Mikami - newly-arrived from Oita - was used in the main as a reserve for Tomita on the left. Effective as an overlapping wingback with an accurate cross, but will probably feature less following the arrival of Yasuhiro Hato and Yukio Tsuchiya.
4. Toninho - 21 Dec 1977 - 186cm / 79kg
Arguably Omiya's most important individual player and reputed to have turned down numerous lucrative offers from other J-League teams. Virtually ever-present having arrived at the club six years ago, with great physical presence and no little skill. Generally used alongside Okuno as a central defender, but has shone on occasions in defensive midfield roles and often contributes vital goals at set pieces.
5. Daisuke Tomita - 24 Apr 1977 - 180cm / 70kg
Not one of the stars of the team but Daisuke Tomita has quietly picked up bags of experience with Mito Hollyhock and now starting his third season with Ardija. Can play anywhere in defence, but was mainly left-back in 2005, although his position this year is likely to be under threat from Tsuchiya.
13. Yasunari Hiraoka - 13 Mar 1972 - 185cm / 72kg
Fringe central defender who has often found himself on the subs' bench since transferring to Omiya from Nagoya before the 2004 season. The fact he's been retained despite having made only twenty appearances in two years can be seen as an indication of the value that coach Miura is placing upon experience over youth to aid the club's development - but how many first team opportunities Yasunari Hiraoka will have in 2006 will depend on injuries to other squad members.
Controversial hard-man defender signed from Kashiwa, Tsuchiya last year earned the wrath of Urawa fans as a result of his horror tackle on rising star Tatsuya Tanaka. Possessor of one of the worst disciplinary records in the J-League, but Toshiya Miura will hope he can bring steal and experience to the Omiya back line. Is able to play anywhere in defence or central midfield, but most likely to replace Tomita on the left.
18. Takuro Nishimura - 15 Aug 1977 - 176cm / 68kg
Defender / midfielder whose versatility has probably ended up counting against him, in that the former Urawa man has failed to make himself indispensible in any specific position. Played mainly at right back in 2005, but also filled in as a defensive midfielder and will probably lose out to Hato in the first team. Responsible for one of the season highlights last year when against Oita he raced from the half-way line to crash in his fist ever J-League goal.
19. Yosuke Kataoka - 26 May 1982 - 179cm / 73kg
A rookie in 2005 having joined the club from Kokushikan University, Yosuke Kataoka put in a series of increasingly impressive performances when given an opportunity in the latter part of the season, capped with a stunning free-kick in the Emperor's Cup against Urawa. May not feature too often this year, but a promising squad member who will aim to take his chance when selected.
22. Yasuhiro Hato - 04 May 1976 - 178cm / 72kg - NEW
One-time Japanese international right-back and another new arrival from Kashiwa, although has picked up most of experience with Marinos. Has an eye for attacking chances and good link-up play with team-mates further up the field. Will probably take first-team place ahead of Takuro Nishimura.