Allan Okello in action in 5-1 win against South Sudan at Lugogo
By: Kayiira Jackson
Uganda is a nation blessed with vast talent in sports, football in particular, but the greatest challenge has always been how that talent, in raw form, could be groomed to have a beautiful finished product that can benefit the nation at the continental and world levels.
Uganda Cranes tactician, Sebastian Desabre, only after two home games in charge (against Sao Tome and Malawi in the last concluded international break), described Uganda as a nation that lacks a creative midfielder, a player that can link the defence to the striking force, and its one of the problems he has to solve before the AFCON qualifier game against Tanzania come May.
Allan Okello, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) wonder kid, may not be an immediate solution for Desabre, but has all the ingredients the Uganda Cranes need in the middle of the park.
Allan Okello,19, continues to prove his doubters wrong. One that watched him (Okello) in his debut last season against Onduparaka, a game in which he had an hat-trick to his name in the 7-0 thumping of the latter, and also the game against SC Villa this season when he disorganized their defense to the extent of scoring a winner, and also not forgetting him at the continental level (CAF Champions League qualifier) when he scored the historical goal that pushed Kampala Capital City Authority FC into CCL group stages for the first time in history.
Okello continued to replicate the same performance on Saturday when the Hippos (National U20 team) humbled South Sudan 5-1 at Phillip Omondi stadium.
The moment the boy lifted his socks up in the last 45 minutes, is when the Hippos started to play that beautiful game. He was involved in three of the five goals, assisting Mukwala’s goal and the second for Hippos. He had an interplay with another ‘bad news’, Frank Zaga Tumwesigye, from SC Vipers for the third goal, and the boy himself (Okello) scored a stunner in the dying minutes, leaving the whole stadium in awe of the boy’s talent.
Uganda had players in his caliber, players like Hassan Badiope, Mike Sserumaga, whom Uganda had more hopes in, but failed to live up to the expectations, and the one who can reach their level currently is William Luwagga Kizito, who, however, plays more of self entertaining football than football that can help the team as a whole.
Allan Okello, the fearless, courageous boy, who is good at dribbling, deadly at shooting within and outside the box, with a highly vicious and lethal left foot, and arguably one of the most intelligent players, a player that can lift a team on his shoulders, can be Uganda Cranes’ ‘Messiah’ in two years to come, as he has proven to be a force to reckon in his attacking midfield role that seems to give Desabre sleepless nights.
Mike Hillary Mutebi, KCCA’s tactician and a renown man at grooming talents, rates Okello as the most intelligent, skilful and educated player Uganda has in his (Okello’s) position.
It’s not only Okello that can make a complete creative midfielder in Uganda (in this generation), but also SC Vipers’ young lad, Frank Tumwesigye ‘Zaga’, who is another talent Uganda has.
‘Zaga’ only needs to keep serious and uplift his performance match in match out.
In Uganda Hippos’ AFCON qualifier against Sudan, not only Allan Okello highlighted Uganda’s future for the fans.
Fellow teammates in Mustafa Kizza, Julius Poloto (Hippos’ skipper), Sadam Masereka and Geoffrey Wasswa were also good on the day.
Uganda Hippos will honor their return leg against South Sudan on the weekend of 20th- 22nd April in Juba, and the aggregate winner will play Cameroon.