With a record of 1-9-0, and finishing at the bottom of the division in tenth place, Wilmington’s Jade Tree United completed the 2008/2009 New Castle County Division D Indoor soccer season with its worst run in five years.
Manager Darren Walters shouldered much of the blame in a post-season press conference held earlier this week. "I was ill-prepared for the task at hand this season. Many of the teams in our division spent aggressively in the transfer window and brought in what I consider to be "ringers", talented players who clearly should have been playing in divisions higher than ours. There was no way that Jade Tree could keep up playing against teams stacked with such players and I flatly refuse to buy a title. I would rather lose with my devoted men than win with a group of heartless, highly paid individuals."
Amid rumors that JTU’s owners, Jade Tree International, Inc, were looking to sell the club, player unrest and declining attendance at matches, the team continued to struggle on and off of the pitch. Said Walters, "The state of our Talley Day Park training facilities and the continued rumors concerning the sale of the club and certain key players only added to our dismal season." But Walters was quick to add, "That being said, our players played their best and I have the highest regard for them. They have the most heart of any team in the league and they never let me down-ever. I’m proud of them and happy to lead them into battle any day."
Only time will tell if Walters will survive to see another season as manager. However, if Walters has his way, it’s clear by his remarks that he isn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon.
The details of the rest of the Jade Tree United matches may be found below, followed by season statistics and awards.
Match Day 8: February 15, 2009
Jade Tree United vs. Bolts
Goals: Alvarez (3), Emge (4), Lord (2), Milne (5)
Match Day 9: March 5, 2009
Threat Crew vs. Jade Tree United
Goals: DiGregorio (1), Emge (4)
Match Day 10: March 8, 2009
DC Holy Cross vs. Jade Tree United
Goals: Alvarez (1), Emge (1), Lord (1)
Fouls: Lord (Yellow)
Season Placement: Tenth (07/08: Fifth Place)
Jade Tree United 2008/2009 Season Statistics & Awards:
Golden Boot: Rich Emge
MVP: Scott Campbell
Most Saves: Scott Campbell
Most Fouls Against: Frank DiGregorio
Most Fouled Upon: Victor Alvarez / Ryan Lord
Best Goal: Casey Gallucio
Most Heart: Scott Campbell
Team Spirit Award: Alfredo Agra
Rich Emge: 23
Ryan Lord: 9
Alexander Milne: 9
Victor Alvarez: 6
Casey Gallucio: 4
Mike Leyva: 3
Frank DiGregorio: 2
Tony Coates: 1
Darren Walters: 1