Modern All-In-One Ohara Soccer Ground Serves All Urawa Reds Players’ Needs & Dreams
Although all youth players train at Redsland, their ultimate dream training destination will always be half an hour away at Ohara Soccer Ground. That is where Urawa Reds’ first team trains. Situated at a football ground
Although all youth players train at Redsland, their ultimate dream training destination will always be half an hour away at Ohara Soccer Ground. That is where Urawa Reds’ first team trains.
Situated at a football ground surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms, Ohara Soccer Ground is indeed a very welcoming venue. Of course apart from the beautiful cherry blossoms covering the entire perimeter of the soccer ground, the light-brown color 2-storey building stands out at the ground distinctively – those are the offices for Urawa Reds officials.
So while most of the Urawa Reds staffs are stationed in this Ohara Soccer Ground office, they do have staffs stationed in Saitama Stadium 2002 too.
We were immediately brought on a quick tour the moment we arrived at the venue. Just as expected, Ohara Soccer Ground is a modern all-in-one training facility for a professional football club. It is made up of 2 eleven-aside football pitches, mini grandstand for football fans to watch the training, changing rooms, gym, rest & relax area for the players which includes a sleeping area and players dining area. However, there is one particular area which really caught our attention and worth mentioning – Media’s Press Room.
At Ohara Soccer Ground, there is actually a holding room for all journalists and photographers who are going to be there to cover the training sessions. An estimated 20pax of media friends could fit into that Press Room and work comfortably with their laptops. And for the record, on the day of our visit, there were 3 other different groups of media organisation covering the training session. Although it was just a normal training session, the media coverage for Japanese football was huge.
Apart from the extensive media coverage on Japanese football, another extremely encouraging sight was the turnout of Urawa Reds football fans watching the training session. There were easily 100 football fans, ranging from young boys to school girls and up to retiring elderly, at the mini grandstand eagerly waiting for their favourite players to say hi to them!
The patience and support of the football fans usually pay off. At the end of the training session, all the players walked towards the grandstand and obliged to all autograph and selfie requests before they left for the day.
As far as we know, interacting with football fans has always been the practice for the teams in Japan as it is a form of showing their appreciation to their football fans’ support.
As we were visiting the soccer ground on the day where the team just had a game the day before, the training session was on a lighter side focusing more on the recovery. Not all the players were involved in the football drills and light-hearted two-sided game, but it was overall a very organised and professional training which took place right in front of our eyes. To be precise, it’s actually more of laughers which ended the session as the team went on a penalty kick challenge before the head coach really called it a day!
Right after the training was about to end, we were ushered to the meeting room on the second storey of the building. There, we conducted our exclusive interview with Japan International & Urawa Reds’ start player, Tomoaki Makino!
To be continued…
Special thanks to Urawa Reds Football Club & SingaCup, Singapore Premier International Youth Football Tournament for making this trip possible.