The Squirrels included two new faces in their training on Tuesday, as a pair of students from Komazawa University joined the first team going through their paces. Kazuki Hara is one, but the other is perhaps a little better known by proxy - for Yuki Maki is the brother of Seiichiro Maki, JEF United's Japan international striker. As for whether these promising young players are likely to join Omiya permanently, it's difficult to say at this point. Certainly there is a feeling that they would add some much-needed competition for places among the strikers, as both Maki and Hara are forward players.
In a comparable situation, however, Keita Sugimoto took part in training with the Squirrels three years ago as a university student and was expected to join the club - but ended up signing with Nagoya Grampus 8, while Maki trained with Nagoya as recently as June. Although a defender in his high school days, the 182cm tall Maki is now a forward has stamina aplenty and puts defenders under pressure.
Bizarrely, his favourite player is reported to be Emile Heskey, previously with Leicester City, Liverpool and Birmingham City but recently transferred to Wigan Athletic. Kazuki Hara is 175cm tall and very quick. Appearing for the Japan U-19 side he turned out as a midfielder and was crowned Most Valuable Player in last year's University championship. Hara's favourite player is Tatsuya Tanaka of Urawa Reds.