The J. League finally confirmed today what was leaked a fortnight ago; our opening weekend fixture is away at Omiya. They also decided to release the second week's fixtures, and for our first home game we'll welcome near neighbours Yokohama F. Marinos. So that's:
When can we expect kick off times and the rest of the fixtures? Next Friday afternoon. It seems we have this whole first-couple-of-weeks-getting-leaked process every year. Are they really they badly organised? So it would appear.
In addition to the above dates-for-your-diary, here's a couple more. Once we're back from Kagoshima (more details here), we have Jubilo on February 16th at the Ashitaka athletics ground in Numazu. We play pre-season games there from time to time, but it's by no means an alternative for Nihondaira. Check it out a little here, or you can see an above shot here. Three banks of grass is pretty old skool, and if it was warmer I'd quite fancy spreading out with a few beers while watching S-Pulse take Jubilo apart.
Anyway, another friendly, this one at Nihondaira, has been organised against last-day-of-the-season survivors Albirex Niigata (who, it's worth remembering, stayed up at Gamba Osaka's expense!). The game is Sunday, February 24th and kicks off at 2pm. There's also a reserves game before if you're interested in that sort of thing.
While I'm here, it was announced that Takagi has signed a new contract, which is of course excellent news. Can't wait to so see how he compliments new signing Bare.
I've also been reading all kinds of rumours regarding further signings, so I don't think we're done yet. Stay tuned!