During a KCCA FC team meeting in 2017, Veteran player Vincent Kayizzi told then upcoming youngster Allan Okello to play more for the team and not to play like the boss.
Mike Mutebi interrupted Kayizzi and emphasized Okello is a boss and that he (Kayizzi) should play for him (Okello) to help the team tick.
And to that effect, the orders from the KCCA FC manager Mutebi have always been very clear and concise. Once you have possession, give the ball to Okello.
Because he is that ‘special’ and his manager holds him in that regard, his responsibility has always been narrowed down to helping the team offensively rather than tiring himself running back to win possession or help with the team’s defending.
The boy wonder burst announced himself to Ugandan football’s folklore in 2016, bagging a hat-trick on his debut against Onduparaka in the Uganda Premier League.
And quickly, due to his technical ability and understanding of the game Okello was set out as an asset to the team when they had the ball and a liability when they didn’t.
As Uganda prepared for their last game qualifier of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations against Tanzania, Okello made the team.
It is then that his near immortal status at KCCA was put to check as then Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre, advised Okello to work on his abilities to help the team when they don’t have possession as well.
“Yeah, very many people gave me advice, and coach Desabre was one of them,” Okello told www.football-256.com.
“I need to get involved more, especially when the team has no possession and I am adjusting very well,”
“Although coach Mike doesn’t like it, but I guess he will have to get used to it because it’s helping me become a better player and the team too,” Okello added.
And his manager is slowly getting in sync with the idea of seeing him taking on defensive duties and he acknowledges it is another step in the development of the player he is building for the European game.
“He is a special player. Who is also a team player. And you can see his desire, hunger and ability to lift the team,” Mutebi said during the post-match press conference after Okello’s man of the match performance helped KCCA to a 1-0 victory over Wakiso Giants.
Gradually Okello has been working on his defensive abilities and by the look of things he is getting there slowly but yes surely.
He is still erratic at times but that is an attribute that can be improved over time and you cannot fault him for trying at least.
When the team lose possession, it is no surprise that you will see him trackback to help out defensively or sprinting back to cover any space left by an out of position full back and at the same running yards of space in a bit to take the team forward.
Something that has also improved is his hunger for goals, Okello gets himself in goal scoring positions and his usual average of eight goals may be well surpassed this time round.