WORRIED that many youngsters in their area were turning to a life of drugs and crime, three friends living in NU2 decided to give them something to look forward to.
With their background in soccer Luthando Lubisa, Ernest Makina and Khaya Mpushe decided to start a soccer academy to get the youngsters off the streets.
Lubisa had played for Wits and Makina for the defunct Motherwell Pirates. Khaya Mpushe had played professional soccer for Northern Areas outfit Park United.
Despite a lack of sponsorship they rounded up a group of mostly 16-year-olds to start Motherwell Academy with Siyabhambili Senior Primary School as their base.
Although it is a soccer club, not an academy in the true sense of the word, the three friends are using the name to keep their dream alive.
They hit a stumbling block when the local association refused to accept their affiliation.
“The official reason was that there were already too many clubs in NU2 but I am convinced there were ulterior motives – jealousy certainly played a role,” said Lubisa.
The club was accepted by city-based Port Elizabeth Football Association (Pefa) in 2006.
This meant that while the club trained in the township it had to find a home ground in the city. It currently plays its home games at the Diaz Club in Newton Park which is adding to its financial woes.
“It is a costly exercise but we are determined to see it (starting an academy) through,” said Lubisa.
The club fields teams ranging from u-13 to seniors.
It also has an u-11 team but they only play friendly matches.
Since its affiliation to Pefa the club has made tremendous progress with its junior teams finishing among the honours each year.
After missing out on promotion for three consecutive years the seniors won promotion to the Pefa Premier League at the end of the last season.
Although it is still early days in the season the team have already made their mark in the senior league, winning their first three matches. Last week they beat Callies who are the Pefa defending league and cup champions.
Lubisa, Makina and Mpushe are hoping that the success the club is enjoying will prompt some good Samaritan to step up to help them realise their dream of making a soccer academy in Motherwell a reality.
To assist or for more info call Lutando Lubisa on 072-330-9188.