An Annoucement from our General Manager Josh Sterling

Dear Board, Coaches, Parents and Players,

Looking back at the 5 years I have been involved in SRU (3 as General Manager) I have seen a united coaching staff develop, stabilized structure, growth of the club and great accomplishments on the field and in the board room.  I am very happy with all the new friendships I have made with the staff, board and parents.  The SRU community is a special community.  I am also very proud of the time, energy and expertise I put into SRU and feel it is a better place for the players now than when I arrived. 

Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to remain the General Manager or College Director for the club.  I have been provided a wonderful opportunity with my fulltime employer Asset Protection Strategies Group. This new opportunity will not allow the time necessary to provide SRU with the same time, energy and expertise it deserves. Change is never easy, but given the strong leadership of Luke Oberkirch and Kelcey Chaidez, the strong board and united coaching staff the club is in good hands.

Change is a time that allows us to reflect, but also look forward. First I want to take some time to reflect on the last 5 years.

What has SRU accomplished in the last 5 years?

  • We have created a Women’s and Men’s College Camp/Showcase that average 80 players attending the college camp and 20+ college coaches at Trione Fields conducting evaluations.  This is a local opportunity that no other club provides. These events have not only provided our players, and others in the community, with a great recruiting opportunity, but also regularly provide SRU with $10,000 in annual revenue. 
  • Our U14-U18 Premier girl’s teams were accepted 2 years ago, after applying for 3 years, to the most prestigious Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).  This league allows for our players to play the best players in league play and at National events that attract 300+ college coaches.  The ECNL will no longer be accepting new clubs after this year.
  • We continue to place 8-15 players in college soccer programs across the country.  This is possible due to our players’ effort, great club reputation, participation in top leagues/events, great expertise from our staff, and regular workshops/lectures about recruiting, funding college and the admissions process.
  • We have established a structure for SRU that includes a GK coach, Skills coach, Boy’s Director, Girl’s Director, Academy Director, General Manager and Office Manager.  The structure provides great oversight and is very affordable for the club.
  • We brought in 7 new high level coaches over the last 5 years while retaining many of our existing staff.  There is a fantastic mix of younger and older coaches with a tremendous amount of playing and coaching experience.
  • We renegotiated our contract with NIKE and remain the only North Bay NIKE Premier Club and one of very few in Nor Cal. 
  • We have created relationships with businesses in the community that help us provide for our players.  These include companies like Bank of America, Sports City, Wells Fargo, Gatorade and a few others.  These relationships have brought SRU over $20,000 in support.
  • Over the last several years the Board of Directors and Executive Board has had less turnover than in past years.  This stabilization allows for improved progress as it reduces the learning curve.  With that being said, there have been some very great additions to the board in the last few years.  The board is as strong as ever.  
  • We solidified a GK Program that included weekly training and hired Neil Turnbull who is one of the top GK coaches in Sonoma County.
  • We revamped the SRU Camp program to provide Skill Camps in the Spring, Summer and Winter.  These camps bring valuable skill development for players and create over $6000 annually in revenue for SRU.
  • We continued to grow and maximize the attendance in our Winter Development Academy.  This program continued to bring in over 275 players, with a majority from outside SRU.  This continues to be a great introduction to our full program and has grown to our largest fundraiser with over $15,000 in annual revenue.
  • Our players and teams continued create a love for soccer, learn life lessons, create lifelong friendships and of course win a ton of games, leagues, tournaments and State Cups.

What does the future look like in SRU? 

  • The future is bright!
  • The club will continue to be one of the top clubs in Northern California and a leader in the  North Bay.  The club is in great hands with Luke Oberkirch overseeing the girl’s side and Kelcey Chaidez overseeing the boys side.  Each will pick up some of the GM duties and they will remain in charge without a GM for the remainder or the 2014-2015 season. There will be NO structure changes this season.  I will remain General Manager for the next 2 weeks.  After that I will spend a week(s) working with the board and directors to help finalize transition.
  • Luke and Kelcey will be supported by a very strong and dedicated board of directors. As I mentioned the board has had a great foundation over the last 5 years and a few new key members.  I have seen the board evolve a lot over the last 5 years.
  • At the center of the club is Laurie.  She will remain there and continue to organize and oversee all administration duties of the club.  She has been with the club for longer than anyone else and will continue to be a great asset.
  • The coaching staff will remain the best in the North Bay!  They are a dedicated group with a ton of expertise and experience.  Our players are very lucky to have such a talented group. 
  • Although my fulltime job will request all my time moving forward I am not going far.  I am a parent of a U9B player and plan to be around the club for the next 10 years. I am excited to be “on the other side of the fence” and to continue to watch the club grow and succeed.  I will also be providing a few college seminars during the year specifically for SRU. 

I have been a Director of one club or another in Sonoma County for over 12 years.  The last 3 years in SRU have been great. I would like to thank everyone involved with SRU.  A big thanks to all of the coaches and Laurie.  I appreciate all your hard work and the many friendships I have developed.  The players of SRU are very lucky!  I would also like to thank all the board members for the 3-4 hour board meetings (and many other meetings) we spent together.  What will I do with my Tuesday nights?  A special thanks to my family for all their support during the 3 years of holding two jobs.  I feel lucky to have had such a great opportunity.  Lastly, and most importantly I want to thank ALL THE PLAYERS AND PARENTS for their hard work and commitment.  Without you there would be no SRU! 

Thank you again everyone and we will see you on the other side of the fence! ONE CLUB!  GO SRU!

Josh Sterling


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