Squirrels midfielder Yoshiyuki Kobayashi played the 200th J1 fixture of his career in the 0-0 midweek draw at Jubilo Iwata. Kobayashi, 29, moved to Omiya Ardija prior to the 2006 season, having previously spent seven years at Verdy Kawasaki / Tokyo Verdy 1969. His pro debut was on the opening day of the 1999 campaign against Shimizu S-Pulse. Yoshiyuki's first year with Omiya was a disappointment, error-strewn performances contrasting sharply with the star quality of another former Verdy man, Daigo Kobayashi.
But 2007 has seen him emerge as one of the Squirrels' most consistent and reliable performers. In Robert Verbeek's modified 4-5-1 formation Yoshiyuki has a fundamentally defensive role in the centre of midfield, but shows a willingness to get forward as the spare man - a characteristic that has so far brought the former U22 international player well-taken goals against Urawa Reds and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.