9. Kota Yoshihara - 吉原 宏太 - 02 Feb 1978 - 170cm / 66kg
Former international and a consistent scorer with Sapporo and Gamba, found himself squeezed out during the latter's title year in 2005 due to the success of Araujo and Masashi Oguro. The move to Saitama twelve months ago turned into a disaster; picked up an injury pre-season and ended up making only a handful of starts in the latter stages of the campaign. Has pace and always makes himself available, but missed chances when he did get to play suggest a player with little confidence.
10. Enilton - エニウトン - 11 Oct 1977 - 176cm / 75kg - Left the club middle of July 2007
Ever since Bare left, Squirrels fans have been hoping for a striker who scores goals - could Enilton be that striker? Has played for ten clubs in four countries, including four years in Switzerland, but moves to Omiya from Palmeiras in his native Brazil. Mobile, aware and with a respectable record in front of goal, let's just hope he isn't another Saul "Speedy" Martinez.
Halfway through 2005 made the step up to Omiya from JFL side Tochigi SC. Was top scorer in Japan's third tier at the time and quickly made an impact with Ardija, getting the winner in an Emperor's Cup tie against Kyoto. Despite the scoring problems throughout last season, Wakabayashi picked up limited playing time and was seemingly behind Hiroshi Morita in the queue as the tall striker. Likes to attack the ball and decent heading ability, but whether he's good enough to be a first-choice J1 striker is questionable.
Since originally coming to Omiya from Niigata during the 2004 season has scored some vital goals, but last year offered far too many examples of his limitations for the liking of many Ardija fans. Gets frustratingly few goals with his head for such a tall player and also poor at holding up play as a target man. Was selected bewilderingly often by coach Miura, but nevertheless retains his place in the squad. Whether Morita will feature in the plans of Robert Verbeek remains to be seen.
16. Alison - アリソン - 30 Jun 1982 - 171cm / 68kg - Left the club end of March 2007
Pug-ugly but pacey forward or wide midfield player. Like Enilton, Alison has moved around a lot in his short career and made a big impact in two years at Daejeon Citizen in the K-League. Imaginative and unpredictable, can make life difficult for defenders but has a streak of inconsistency which means he can drift out of games.
27. Salles - サーレス - 01 Mar 1978 - 188cm / 84kg - Left the club end of June 2007
Big Brazilian forward / attacking midfield player, who arrived at Omiya from USL side Atlanta Silverbacks at the end of March 2007, a replacement for the departed Alison. Strong, with a good long-range shot and a decent left foot, Squirrels fans were nevertheless puzzled at the arrival of a player whose career has been spent in the lower leagues of the US, Ecuador, Brazil and Spain. Infamously - and unluckily - given a straight red card on his Ardija debut.
29. Denis Marques - デニス・マルケス - 22 Feb 1981 - 183cm / 74kg - NEW
Signed for the Squirrels from Atletico Paranaense on a year's contract during the 2007 mid-season break. As such, the latest in a long line of foreign forwards that the fans will be hoping actually manages to live up to expectations - and after the departure of Enilton and Salles, total number of J1 goals between them: one, Omiya need someone to get the goals that will keep them in the division. Denis Marques is reputed to be quick and was previously the strike partner of Washington, now also in Japan with Urawa Reds. Whether this means he can score for Omiya remains to be seen.
Brought from Verdy two years ago, like Fujimoto to offer some top flight experience to the then J1 rookie Squirrels. An immediate hit, scoring the 2005 opener to set up a win at Gamba, the speedy Sakurai has had an injury-affected time with Omiya that has restricted his contribution. Tends to shine in bigger games, but conversely can go missing when Ardija's under-pressure defence need reliable attacking outlets. Surprise choice as vice-captain.
33. Pedro Junior - ペドロ ジュニオール - 29 Jan 1987 - 182cm / 73kg - NEW
Youthful Brazilian striker signed in mid-August 07 after the departure of Robert Verbeek. Video evidence would suggest he has energy, pace and even - shock - an eye for goal, but is very much an unfinished product. Presumably bought to play alongside fellow countryman Denis Marques,Pedro Junior had the misfortune to make his debut as a substitute in the disastrous 2-1 home defeat in which Omiya were utterly outplayed by a ten-man Kashima Antlers. Whether he will get the playing time to have the required impact is a key issue.