Saturday, May 1, 2010

Kim Jong Il`s Omiya Army!!

I had a day of North Korean labour camp style work yesterday involving two trucks of soil, a shovel and wheelbarrow from 7 in the morning until 4.30 in the afternoon but the reward at the end of a backbreaking day was a relaxing trip to one of my favourite grounds in Japan. Omiya-koen was the venue last night for another reminder of what life is like in J1. Omiya v Kyoto was the match up, two teams currently scrapping to stay up and with the 2-1 win Omiya leap frogged Kyoto to climb out of the bottom three. We got to say hello to a couple of old friends too which was nice, Steve from Soilent Green was our host for the evening and we also got to say hello to ex-Verdy midfielder Shin Kanazawa and our favourite lard-ass Diego who was to provide a killer raking cross field  pass for the Kyoto goal, a nice reminder of what he could do in Green a couple of seasons back.
So that`s two weeks running whereby the matchday experience has been better than at Tokyo Verdy for a long time. As myself and my son walked the short distance from Omiya-koen station to the ground we could hear the drums going and the chanting from some distance away. Omiya-koen is a relatively small ground and last nights crowd of 10,000 was not even a quarter of the size of  neighbours Urawa last week, but still the noise generated by the Omiya faithfull produced a cracking atmosphere. The ground is set in a park with many of the crowd trundling in on bicycles, parking them up against the trees and wandering on to the game. I`ve moaned on many ocassions about the drawbacks of Ajinomoto Stadium and once more the lack of atmosphere problem came to the fore. In a ground that holds 15,000 with no running track 10,000 people can make a grand old racket. However, transfer that same 10,000 to a 50,000 seater with a running track and the place feels empty. The atmosphere at both Urawa and Omiya have both been great and painfull at the same time in relation to what I get at my own club. No microphones in sight or even required at either place.
Finally, one thing Omiya cream Urawa at is pre-match music!! What better music to run out to than The A Team?? Also mixed in there was bit of Ramones, Blur (Parklife...predictable but I`ll give them the benefit of the doubt, it`s a park after all) and my personal favourite Dr. Feelgood "Milk and Alcohol" which instantly took me back to going to infants school and being in my  pork chop bearded dad`s car in about 1980. Quality. A top night all round and thanks a lot Steve!! A true gent.

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