By Karen Billing
A new youth soccer league is coming to Carmel Valley, courtesy of Tommy Maurer, formerly of the Del Mar/Carmel Valley Sharks. The new club is called Borussia Del Mar, named for one of Maurer’s favorite soccer teams from his native Germany. Already Carmel Valley’s fields are home to three other youth soccer leagues, but Maurer believes there’s space on the pitch for Borussia.
“I think all of the leagues serve a tremendous purpose in the community but I also think there’s room for more,” Maurer said. “It’s an abundance, the community is constantly growing and I just want to be a little part of that.”
As teams for fall are already set, Maurer is eyeing fall 2013 as his first regular season. In the meantime, he hopes to build his league with camps, individual and group training, and spring soccer.
First up will be a soccer camp on Aug. 20-24 at Solana Pacific School. Open to children 5-15, the camp will run 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registration for the camp is available at borussiadelmar.com
Maurer is no stranger to the area soccer scene, having been with the Del Mar/Carmel Valley Sharks for 13 years, serving as a coach, assistant director of the older boys program and, since 2008, the director of the recreation program.
“It was great because I was able to shape the program,” Maurer said of his role as director of the rec. program. “We had such great numbers of kids and I was allowed to be really creative in setting up a really nice program for all those numbers, being a ‘caretaker’ for all those needs.”
Maurer was terminated by the Sharks at the end of June and since then has launched full steam into creating this new league for Carmel Valley.
He strongly feels that he will able to be successful in this community and to offer something different and unique.
“It will give my membership an opportunity to learn in a different environment,” Maurer said.
Before he left the Sharks, soccer registration for 5-year-old boys had jumped to 180 already this year from 105 the previous year.
“Somewhere there was a population explosion,” Maurer notes. “I don’t think it’s abnormal to try and launch something in this area.”
He said he doesn’t want to compete with neighboring leagues, but hopefully work with them on how to present soccer to the community.
“I believe I can bring harmony into the area,” Maurer said. “I’m not looking to step on any toes, I just want to continue what I’ve gotten really good at and that’s directing kids into good development and good sport.”
Maurer came to the U.S. from Germany in 1970 when he was 12 years old.
“All I did when I was in Germany was play soccer,” Maurer said.
He was recruited at a young age into a program to prepare players for the professional game, but his family moved to the Philadelphia area before that dream was realized.
In the U.S., there was no soccer but Maurer was determined.
Rather than hit a soccer ball against a wall by himself (which he often did), he decided to form his own soccer league as just a fifth grader.
“In some way or another, I’ve been doing this all my life,” Maurer said of running a league.
Maurer became the third player ever drafted out of high school to play for the North American Soccer League’s Tampa Bay Rowdies. As part of their training, players were sent to play in England and Germany—“I got back to what I lost moving here,” Maurer said.
Uprooting to America at 12 had such an enormous impact on Maurer that he has strong memories of being that age.
“I know how kids feel at 10 and 12, somehow I took a photograph and never forgot about that,” Maurer said. “I have a really good communication with kids, I feel really confident in that environment.”
Although he doesn’t have kids of his own, he enjoys being around the “new generation.”
“I go to the field knowing I’m going to learn just as much from them as they do from me,” Maurer said.
Maurer already has a league sponsor in Bumble Bee Tuna, but will still need to find a home field, “the biggest hurdle” that every local club has to deal with.
“The evolvement of the club is going to take some time, I want to make it right,” Maurer said. “It’s scary…but it gives me courage and confidence to work with somebody like Bumble Bee and start creating a club. I’m surrounded by good people that are backing this program, they believe in it and I’m excited that it will work.”