Bay Stars Football Club Managing Director Tony Lovegrove said last night that an academy will be established that will serve as a feeder for the club in its efforts to build on the excellent success in its inaugural season.
Bay Stars narrowly missed out on the top position on the Eastern Cape log of the Vodacom League after ending the season three points adrift from East London’s FC Tornado.
Nelson Mandela Bay’s best hope of a long term Premier Soccer League berth ended as the only Eastern Cape team with a 100% home record.
With the excitement high at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Sport Centre (VIP Lounge) Lovegrove also announced the appointment of the new head coach Mark Harrison who will take over the reins from Graham Harrison next season.
Mark Harrison has an formadible record as a player and coach. He played for Stoke City, Portland and Southampton in England amongst others and also played in the South African Premier Soccer League.
Harrison’s coaching career spanned from being a youth coach for Bristol City, goalkeeper coach for Everton and he also had a stint as head coach of the Bangladesh National Team. In South Africa he worked with Mpumalanga Black Aces as well other local outfits.
Mark Harrison said last night that he accepted the position after seeing a few Bay Stars matches.
“I believe the team has what it takes to go all the way to the PSL. You can build something special for Nelson Mandela Bay,” he added.
Bay Stars’ Central Midfielder Leroy van Rensburg not only scooped the coveted Player of the Year Award at the club’s Award ceremony last night, his 15 goals for the season also bagged him the Top Goal Scorer of the Year Award.
Lutho Totwana, whose nickname is Messi, received the Young Player of the Year Award and Bongani Kama was named the Most Improved Player of the Year and Mlungisi Zitho received the most votes from his teammates for Player’s Player of the Year award.
The Chairman’s Award was split between Assistant Coach Wayne Iveson and Team Captain Niven Kops.
Bay Stars Managing Director Tony Lovegrove said even though a limited number of awards are awarded to individuals annually, he considers every single player to be a winner.