New chairman for Melville

Wytse Bouma has been elected as Melville’s new president/chairman, replacing Bruce Holloway, who has served for the past few years.

The appointment of Wytse Bouma (pronounced as “Pizza with a v” and “Bow-ma as in bowel”), has been hailed as a real coup for the club.

Bouma, a 49-year-old BNZ bank manager, will bring more dynamic and nuanced leadership, new methods of work and greater professionalism to the club, from a strong corporate and financial background.

The overhaul came as part of a wider shake-up at the club, arising out of a strategic plan review which identified organisational weaknesses, and was finally settled upon at a special general meeting on Monday night.

In other moves Raj Naidu becomes club captain, with Phil Wheatley installed as a part-time club manager, and Holloway picks up the role as secretary, replacing long-time incumbent Andrea Timings, who did not seek reappointment for 2018. Arran Clement becomes deputy chairman.

Bouma is a widely respected figure in Waikato football. He has previously been president and vice president of the Hamilton North club, and for the past five years has been coach of U17, Federation league and Reserve league teams at Melville as well as serving on the management committee. He was also a former vice president and treasurer of the Waikato Junior Football Association , and in his youth a former Hillcrest High First XI player.

Bouma tabled a new organisational structure featuring 10 portfolio managers who would operate under a 7-strong executive group.

Bouma said not every portfolio position would be filled immediately.

“We may need to suck it and see,” he said. “There may be some initial pains, but it is a starting point for a way forward. We need a professional structure in place, and change is a good thing right now.”

In terms of his leadership style, Bouma believes in empowering people and working alongside them, where everyone has clearly defined roles and knows what is expected of them.

“Because of the skills I have, I believe I can help the club become more successful. This is an opportunity to refresh, and consider new ideas. I take the job very seriously.”

Meanwhile Melville life member Steve Williams paid tribute to Holloway, who last served as a club secretary as a callow youth with Waikato Unicol back in 1985.

“Bruce has been our best chairman since 2004, maybe even longer,” Williams said. “He was definitely in the all-time top five or six, but it was time for a change, and Wytse will take things to a whole new level.”

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