THE Bay Stars Academy, a Safa Nelson Mandela Bay SAB League franchise, has been sold to Pefa outfit Motherwell Academy.
This comes hot on the heels of a second division franchise, also called Bay Stars, being sold to Morning Stars.
Bay Stars Academy finished second in the SAB League behind Real City, who went on to win promotion to the National Second Division.
NMMU, who used to run the Bay Stars Academy, will now concentrate on the Varsity Soccer Challenge instead.
"The Varsity Soccer Challenge is the nearest thing the city can get to professional soccer both in terms of organisation and quality. Our boys are making their mark and we are just two points off the pace," Bay Stars Academy spokesman Mark Tommie said.
Meanwhile, Motherwell will be making their debut in the SAB League on Friday evening when they take on Pefa rivals Callies. Friends Earnest Makina, Khaya Mpushe, Yibanathi Gxowa and current chairman Luthando Lubisi started the club in 2006 to promote soccer in the disadvantaged area of Motherwell, where the boys do not even have a field on which to practise.
When the local soccer body refused their application for affiliation they turned to Pefa.
After struggling to find a home venue, they have been playing their matches at Victoria Park.
"The purchase of the franchise fits in with our vision," Lubisi said.
"We could have gone the long route – winning the Pefa Premier League and advancing to the play-offs, but the play-offs are always a lottery.
"This way we can fast-track our youth development programme which is at the core of our vision. In such a short space of time we already have one major success," Lubisi said.
"Our centre back Lulama Maqoko, 19, has been signed by Santos and will be leaving for Cape Town this weekend."