FIFA master alumna appointed Secretary General of topflight Zimbabwean club

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FIFA Master alumna & FIFA women’s football consultant Violet Jubane was recently appointed as the Secretary general of new premiership club Sheasham FC.

She previously worked for the ZImbabwe Football Association’s Central Region as the Marketing & Development officer, but has since left the role to focus more on consultancy work and elite administration. (BA) spoke to the trailblazing Jubane (VJ) to get an insight into her football administration journey and learn from her numerous foreign experiences during her capacity development and work trips.

BA How has it been so far in your new role as the Secretary general of a PSL club?
VJ. I am taking one step at a time learning about the club’s objectives as well as the ambitions of the sponsors . In addition, I am still building relationships with my colleagues , sharing ideas to help each other develop the club to the best that it can be.

BA You are a travelled administrator because of development programmes that you have undertaken, what lessons have you drawn from other places that you think can help Zimbabwean football improve from its current state?
VJ. Zimbabwe is a country which has it’s own needs and milestones in terms of football development. I think the way forward is to develop tailor made solutions to our problems . I can’t deny that there are some ideas we can learn from others. We need to improve in terms of commercialisation, and exploring new business opportunities that can help to generate revenue for a financially sustainable football ecosystem. There are many ideas we can explore and also some of the enabling factors which include government support, protection of intellectual property rights, and adaptation to the ever-evolving world.

BA How has your football administration journey been so far, considering that it is a predominantly male domain that gives little to no respect for women?
VJ. My football journey has been amazing, but there have been different challenges that I have encountered along the way. I am glad that I have managed to navigate through the majority of them. I am now more confident in myself than when I started out, I am no longer scared, nor do I feel uncomfortable working in the football industry. I have already passed that phase in my career. I believe the landscape has to change and I am always willing to share my ideas and thoughts with fellow women and girls who are willing to build their careers in sport.

BA. There are signs of long term commitment from the Construction Boys if the refurbishment of Bata ground is anything to go by. What are the club’s targets going into the 2023 season?
VJ. Obviously one of the main objectives is for the club to survive relegation, but also to explore other revenue generating avenues which help with the day to day running of the club.

BA. What challenges have you faced thus far, at Sheasham FC, and in football administration in general, and how have you managed to overcome them?
VJ. So far I haven’t encountered many challenges but since I had more experience in league management, I am trying to look at things from the club perspective. Adaptability and relating are among my greatest strengths and these attributes have been useful in this situation. Obviously, I have to understand PSL regulations and it’s my duty to understand what the club is expected to deliver by the competition organiser .I continue to learn from others and I would not want to stop learning.

BA. What’s your take on the implementation of club licensing so far in ZImbabwe? Besides the enforcement of coaching qualifications, has it yielded results in areas like setting up of development teams and hiring of a qualified secretariat?
VJ. Since the rewards of implementing club licensing can not be achieved overnight, I think if we set key performance indicators within a specified period of time, it will make our results traceable.
In terms of qualified personnel, we have seen improvements at club level. Club licensing is critical in helping clubs develop, and if clubs take it seriously, it will take Zimbabwean football to the next stage of development. Having qualified coaches will help to develop better players. Since players are the most critical stakeholders, investing in their development is a big stepping stone.

BA What targets have you set for yourself as an administrator this season?
VJ. I want to continue growing as a leader, exploring new career opportunities and be able to overcome them. I want to grow my perspective beyond football and obviously broaden my knowledge into sports business, sports development and event management. Ultimately, I would want to make a difference in other people’s lives, bring a smile on their faces and help them achieve their dreams.

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