Position : Centre back
DOB : 16 Jan 1986
Height : 1.80cm
Weight : 72kg
Nickname : Daiki
Niwa seems to go by his first name Daiki rather than being called Niwa. He was Captain of the team in 2009 and 2010, and was very good in this role, but got replaced by Nakamachi for the 2011 season.
Having started his career with Gamba Osaka in J-League 1 at a time when they were challenging for honours he went out on loan to Tokushima Vortis in J2 to get some games. Presumably impressed by what they saw Avispa signed him on a loan deal in 2009., 2010, and will do again for 2011.
He started the 2010 season as Avispa’s best player, but his form dropped a little as that of people like Nakamachi became more important. Similar to Tanaka he isn’t the biggest defender, but has excellent positional sense and time after time seems to pop up at the right time to make an interception or last ditch tackle.
The defence tend to play the ball around themselves waiting for an opening, and it is Daiki who is usually the one to play the pass forward or out to the left-back.
Holds the team together very well, and win or lose takes them round the pitch to thank the supporters after each game.
His performances dropped in 2011 as the team played back in J1, and lost his spot in the team at the end of the season when he started to look less committed to the team and duly went back to Gamba at the end of the season.