Taking over as a general manager of a premier league side, let alone an established side, can be a daunting task.
If the appointment is for a newly promoted side and it comes during a difficult time as the current one due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the task is even more scary.
This however seems not to be the case with Harry Koata, the newly appointed general manager of Masitaoka football club.
As he settles into his role at the Molepolole based outfit, he says he is relishing the opportunity to lead the club in its maiden premier league appearance.
“It is an honour to have approached by such a Brand like Masitaoka to come on board to stir the ship to its destination,” Koata opines.
While he relishes the task of leading Masitaoka during these trying times, he is however very aware of how big a challenge this will be.
“To be appointed into this position at the time when there are uncertainties in the football industry due to the Covid 19 pandemic, has been the greatest challenge for me,” he says.
The Masitaoka General Manager is however very optimistic that he has all the necessary skills to help the team achieve its ambitions and be successful.
“As a visionary and risk taker by nature, this has been an opportune time to work behind the scenes under little or no pressure,” he opines. “Remember, I started work at the beginning of July 2020.”
“My main responsibility is to turn the fortunes of the Club into a commercial entity. Masitaoka Football Club is a registered business entity. I need to make sure there is a return on investment for its shareholders,” he explains.
“My other role is to manage the transition of the Club from the First Division to the Premier League through transformational processes. These include setting up an office, stakeholder engagement, players, technical and support staff welfare and most importantly, membership drive,” he adds.
Three months into his new role, Koata believes he has already done very well, saying the team is now ready for the new premier league football season.
“We have achieved almost all our assignments in the three months in office. We are waiting for football to commence so that we can rip off the fruits of our hard work,” Koata says.
Koata goes on to add that he is aware that their major stakeholder within their brand is their supporters, who he says are important for the team’s successes.
“We will leave no stone unturned in order to invest in this segment and in return ensure that we take care of their welfare. We will soon launch our Supporters’ Branches throughout the country. We have designed unique membership portfolios for our supporters in to benefit them as well as being a retention strategy on our side,” he opined.
As for his vision for Masitaoka, Koata says he plans to position Masitaoka as a regional, continental and world class Brand. “I want people in churches, cars, workplace, and anywhere else to live this Brand,” he says.
Having spent many years in club football administration, more especially as a team manager, he says the main challenge has always been working in a society owned team.
“It has proven difficult, if not impossible, to turn the fortunes of a Society around because of the structure and nature of how they operate. Societies are not profit-making entities, but modern football has to commercialise in order to sustain itself and run as a going concern. “
The Masitaoka general manager says he now looks forward to using his experience in Sport Management, through different assignments at COSAFA and the two World Cups he did with FIFA, to help Masitaoka to achieve its objectives.
“I did South Africa 2010 World Cup and Brazil 2014 World Cup based in Rio De Janeiro. My last regional assignment was during the last COSAFA Cup tournament in Durban in May 2019 in the LOC as Head of Protocol and Volunteer Management,” he concludes.