INTERVIEW: I have no role models in the local league — Allan Okello, speaks of Europe dreams

Allan Okello is one Ugandan football’s brightest talents,having burst onto the scene two years ago. He told William Kasoba about his journey so far.

Who is Allan Okello?

Allan Okello is from Lira and I am a Langi. My journey here [KCCA FC] started in 2016
when playing for the Under 17s before I got promoted to the senior team. After finishing
my primary education in Lira, I joined Kibuli SS where I studied for six years from S1 up to S6. However, I did not join Kibuli as a footballer. I only joined the school team after two years.

How were you juggling life studying at Kibuli and playing for KCCA?
Surely it was not very easy. Kibuli knows no footballers, and we are all treated as students. You may be studying on a football bursary but when it’s time for class you have to be in class. It’s only after class that I could go for training. This helped me a lot to streamline my studies alongside playing my football.

You finished your A’ Level last year. Are you continuing to university or are you now specifically  concentrating on football?

Yes I am going to continue with my studies but not in Uganda. In one or two years I
may not be in Uganda. I will be in some other country just waiting for my wishes to come true so I will go and read from outside I think.

Is there anyone in your family playing football?
Yes…..My family is a football family but the most prominent was my uncle Bob Obira who played for different local clubs like my club now KCCA, Express, SC Villa, among others and he is the one who has groomed me.

Who inspired you to take up football as your career?
Obviously my uncle Bob Obira has inspired me a lot and he is still pushing me to
achieve more.

How special is it having lots of fellow youngsters on the team than when you had just joined?
It always feels good to have my age mates on the team. We are now maturing into a
very strong team.

Allan Okello and team-mates

Are you paid the same as the senior players? How much is that by the way?I cannot talk about payments but what I am sure of, everyone gets sufficient salary
that’s why you are seeing smiling faces all over.

What has it been like working with Coach Mike Mutebi so far?
It’s not an easy thing because truth is, he is a tough coach. Remember no coach
can ever be good to you if he wants you to achieve. The toughest coaches are the best,
and working with Coach Mike has been very good with a great experience.

Coach Mike always says you’re not yet ready for the senior national team, what is your take on that?
Yeah… maybe he knows better because he is the one who has groomed me this far. But
anytime I get a chance to be summoned, I am ready to compete with the best.

What is your ambition for the new season, and which teams are you expecting to give KCCA the stiffest challenge?
My biggest ambition is winning the title, but I also want to be the league top scorer as a way of helping my team win games. On the issue of challenges, I say a league is league, every team is in to challenge. But SC Villa and Vipers are the biggest threat.

Is your dream to play for KCCA FC forever or you dream of a future beyond?
No Ugandan footballer has a dream to only play for a local club. I have a huge dream of playing professional football outside Uganda.

Allan Okello celebrating a goal

We heard reports that Ajax wanted to sign you; how true was that?
You never know it might have been true. But my role as a player is to work hard and
impress on the pitch. This makes the work of my agents easy and such reports will eventually come true.

If you had to choose a club to play for Europe, which one would it be?
I would like to play for many clubs in Europe teams like Manchester United, Barcelona,
Arsenal among others but it’s not an easy thing. But when I get a chance I will fully utilise it since it’s my best wish.

Who is your role model in the game (local and foreign)?
Since I am participating in the local league, I have no role model rather I have competitors. I want to be their role model instead of them being mine. And for the international, since I am a midfielder Andres Iniesta is my role model but also love Lionel Messi and Luka Modric.

What motivates you?
A lot of things motivate me in my career. I started my career yearning to become a champion, so I am a hard worker in training and during match days. You know even God can’t let you down if you show you are in it to achieve. Besides my early success during
my high school made me believe I can collect more accolades.