Omiya Ardija's likely new signing Takashi Hirano is one of the true pioneers of the J-League. After making his debut for Nagoya Grampus 8 in 1993, Hirano cemented his position as one of the anchors of the club for seven years. Hirano peaked under the tutelage of current Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger and impressed enough to appear in a couple of games for the Japan National team in the 1998 France World Cup campaign.
After falling out of favour in 2000, Hirano moved on to Kyoto Purple Sanga to help shore up a sagging squad. Unfortunately, the career Grampsita could not help stem the tide and Sanga succumbed to the first of many trips to J2. A dismal stint in 2001 for Jubilo saw him contribute little to his home prefecture club's stage championship campaign. 2002 had Hirano moving to Vissel Kobe, where he would team up with Naoya Saeki and former Ardija defender Yukio Tsuchiya to anchor the left side of a less than impressive defence. It was Hirano's first venture in the left back position.
But 2003-2005 would mark a rebirth for Hirano. Alongside current Omiya players Daigo Kobayashi, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi and Naoto Sakurai, Hirano would prove himself as one of the standouts of the Tokyo Verdy 1969 squad, providing strong defensive pressure and pushing up for the occasional goal when opportunities allowed. Soccer Magazine Japan deemed him to be the MVP of the 2004 Verdy campaign, which culminated in a victory in the 2004 Emperors Cup.
After the disaster in 2005, Hirano had offers to play in Europe for Croatian side NJ-Osijek. He turned it down to become part of the core of a disappointing Yokohama F Marinos side. But nine games and a plethora of injuries later, Hirano was seemingly done with first division football in Japan. He took his game west to Boston to try and catch on with MLS side New England Revolution. Joined by former Verdy teammate Takuya Yamada, Hirano was unsuccessful in his attempts to impress coach Steve Nicol and failed to claim a place in the squad.
Hirano is best known for a good left foot and a great head for the game. If nothing else, he would be a good decision maker in a Squirrels back line severely lacking in that ingredient. His time as an offensive winger only adds to an attack that tends to get bogged down on the flanks. If anything is left in the tank, Hirano can be regarded as a good signing at least to add depth to a squad that doesn't have it.