Japanese

Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies

Reds welcomed a new member to the family in April, 2005: Urawa Reds Ladies. The team originated as a community women's football club called Saitama Reynas F.C. in 1998. Playing in the L. League, Japan's top women's competition, they won their first league championship in 2004. It was a fitting moment to join the Reds organisation. The name was changed to Urawa Reds Ladies and both the senior and youth teams made a fresh start under the Reds umbrella.

Reds Ladies came fifth in their first L. League season. A little disappointing for the defending champions, it was a solid performance nonetheless in view of all the changes that had just taken place.

The Ladies confirmed their position as a major force in Japanese women's football by improving to finish second in the 2006 league standings with 12 wins, 2 draws and only 3 losses.

The marked overall improvement from 2005 owed much to manager Yoshikazu Nagai's sharp focus on winning. There was still a tendency in 2005 to run out of steam in attack and concede goals in the second half. In 2006, the concentration stayed taut for the full 90 minutes.

The performances also benefited from the signing of three players on professional terms. They became core members of the team.
The back up is also much fuller now. The players eat together in the clubhouse after training, travel by club bus even to home matches and wear club suits on the train when playing away.

Besides, the fact that supporters must now pay to see home games has made the players more committed than ever to producing their very best for the fans. They are very professional in outlook and totally focussed on the team.

Against the champions, NTV Beleza, however, the league record still read one draw and two losses in 2006. The goal for 2007 is to close that gap through further improvements in the playing environment and team play.

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