Retirement didn’t aftermost continued for Rob Osieja.
After spending 40 years apprenticeship and teaching, Osieja was set for some well-deserved relaxation.
Or so he thought.
Five weeks into retirement, he saw an ad for the arch boys soccer drillmaster position at Cresskill Aerial School.
At aboriginal glance, Osieja anticipation it charge be a mistake. It was two weeks into August and teams were accepting accessible to alpha their official practices in days.
Luckily for him, he knows Cresskill able-bodied administrator Beth Del Vecchio. Before she was AD at Cresskill, Del Vecchio was able-bodied administrator for Paramus Catholic and in her aboriginal year, hired Osieja as the babe clue coach. Osieja dialed her up, she told him that the position was still abandoned and he knew what he had to do.
Osieja got his resume accessible for an account with Del Vecchio and Cresskill arch John Massaro and accustomed the job active home from the interview.
August 15, he appear to Cresskill for the aboriginal time, three canicule afterwards practices started, and he didn’t appear alone.
He brought a anew accumulated apprenticeship staff featuring varsity abettor Pete Kruimer, who had been the JV drillmaster at Ridgefield, and JV drillmaster Kevin Cueva, who played aerial academy soccer at Rancocas Valley and collegiately at Felician University.
“We all jumped into this together, me, my agents and the kids,” Osieja said. “They didn’t accept a varsity or JV drillmaster and no freshmen program.”
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The assignment began that Wednesday for a adolescent Cresskill aggregation that appearance alone bristles seniors.
It’s a absolutely altered attending than aftermost year’s squad, which exceeded expectations beneath above drillmaster Jorge Tuesta. It accomplished 14-7 and accomplished the North 1, Group 1 quarterfinals, but 10 seniors accelerating and Tuesta took a job afterpiece to home.
With such a adolescent roster, Osieja acquainted his acquaintance fabricated him a absolute fit. Afterwards all he has been about the block to say the least.
In his 40 years coaching, Osieja won the Watchung Conference for Irvington in 1983 – the school’s alone bounded appellation – was the aboriginal drillmaster aback Chatham and Chatham Boro alloyed and brought the academy a Group 2 championship, Morris County Championship and a alliance appellation in 1988, won the Passaic County Tournament in 1990 and 1991 with Passaic Valley and had a assignment at Gov. Livingston.
After that bewitched 1988 division at Chatham, he was called The Star-Ledger’s drillmaster of the year.
“I ahead this was a acceptable time for somebody of advantage to appear in and booty over,” Osieja said. “I’ve done this. I took over Gov. Livingston in mid-August one year. I knew how to get this affair activity and get the affairs developed, but it’s been a process.”
The action absolutely took some time, but it is absolutely advantageous off now.
Last Saturday, Cresskill handed Dumont its aboriginal absent in a blood-tingling 1-0 overtime win abaft a ambition from green forward/midfielder Robert Boiardi.
Things got alike bigger from there and Wednesday, Cresskill fabricated a above account aback it downed Park Ridge, 3-2. Senior midfielder Dardan Derguti denticulate alert in the win and green midfielder Jason On additionally begin the aback of the net. Park Ridge had spent two weeks ranked No. 1 in NJ.com’s Group 1 rankings and sat at No. 2 in NJ.com’s latest poll.
Cresskill currently sits at 10-4 with a 9-3 almanac adjoin NJIC Patriot Division opponents. Through all of its success there has been one connected and that is inferior goalkeeper Gianpaolo Colannino, who has amounted over 100 saves and bristles apple-pie sheets.
“Most teams will never see him, but I accept a Division 1-quality goalie in Gianpaolo,” Osieja said. “He’s been above fantastic. He has skills, ability of the game, leadership, and eyes of how to ahead attacks and again stop them. My aegis has been advancing forth absolutely well, but he is the man.”
Cresskill was seeded aboriginal in the Bergen County Cup and is advancing in adjoin abundant beyond schools athirst and attractive to accomplish alike added noise.
“We assuredly are hitting not our peak, but aing to our peak,” Osieja said. “I ahead we’re activity to abruptness some bodies in the Bergen County Cup, alike admitting we’re the aboriginal academy to anytime be seeded No. 1. We’re activity to attempt with the bigger Group 3 and 4 school, which is amazing.”
Although the aftermost three months accept been absolutely the cyclone for Osieja, he is aback at the abode he is best comfortable, the soccer pitch. Alike if it was a little eventually than he planned.
“I’m a drillmaster at heart,” he said. “That’s what I’m best at. That’s what I love. I was activity to get aback to it eventually, but I didn’t ahead I was activity to do it bristles weeks into retirement.”
Richard Greco covers boys soccer and may be accomplished at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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