Lucian Serban speaks to his team at practice at Merle Logan Field the week before the Jackson Cup. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Lucian Serban speaks to his team at practice at Merle Logan Field the week before the Jackson Cup. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo soccer team names coach as MVP

Nanaimo United Div. 1 men’s soccer team named coach Lucian Serban as the team’s most valuable player

Nanaimo United’s MVP this season patrolled the sidelines, not the field of play.

The Div. 1 men’s soccer team, Jackson Cup champions, named coach Lucian Serban as the team’s most valuable player at a year-end banquet last week in Lantzville.

“Big surprise for me; I didn’t see it coming, I believed that my MVP days are over,” said Serban in an e-mail.

The first-year coach guided Nanaimo to its first Jackson Cup championship in 18 years.

He said last Saturday’s banquet was a great night with “tons of positive energy” and lots of anticipation for upcoming provincial cup playdowns.

Nanaimo United’s other MVPs were Andrea Strebel from the premier women’s side, Deven Brandback of the Div. 2 women, Gavin Leung of the Div. 2 men and Andres Enrich of the masters men.

Golden Boot awards for top scorers went to Daragh Fitzgerald of the Div. 1 men, Adrian Mulder of the Div. 2 men, Alli Bach of the premier women, Cassandra Watling of the Div. 2 women and Adrian Robertshaw of the masters men.

Most Dedicated Player awards went to Callum Magog of the Div. 1 men, Casey Martin of the premier women, Nick Belanger of the Div. 2 men, Evelina Lamu of the Div. 2 women and Chad Lintott of the masters men.

GAME ON … United’s Div. 1 men play Westside in the first round of provincial A cup playdowns on Saturday (April 22) in Vancouver. Also this weekend, the Nanaimo Wheaties women’s team has a home game in the first round of provincial B cup playdowns against Dasmesh United on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Merle Logan Field. The Mid Isle Mariners Div. 3 men have a first-round bye in provincial B cup action and the Mid Isle U21 side has a first-round bye, as well.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com