By Allan Damba
Allan Okello has admitted the younger players in the Uganda Cranes squad are under pressure to take over from their senior counterparts ahead of the friendly with the Bafana Bafana at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday.
Despite acknowledging the onus for the new generation to deliver, the 20-year-old also feels there is heat as the older players have set the bar high.
“I think we have always had experienced players who had their pressure to deliver. Right now, it is us who have this pressure to make things work,” Okello told media before Wednesday’s training session.
“But, there is no doubt we are ready to take on the mantle. Every player is ready to kickstart the new journey tomorrow (versus South Africa) on the pitch,” added the FC Paradou youngster.
The former KCCA FC starman thereby called on the supporters to give them time and believe in the new faces in the team.
“So, I call on the fans of Uganda Cranes to give us time and most importantly, to believe in us as we are confident we shall perform.”
Okello also expressed gratitude towards former captain Dennis Onyango’s visit to the camp yesterday.
“Yesterday, I was very happy for our captain’s(former) visit. He came and motivated the players, told us to do our best and assured us that we have the potential to take Uganda far.”
The boy that hails from Lira has been through the national team ranks over the years: representing Uganda at the U20 and U23 levels dating back to 2017 as a 16-year-old.
Since 2019, he has featured for the senior side, the Uganda Cranes on 13 occasions, scoring twice in the process.
Uganda Cranes’ 23-man Squad
Goalkeepers: Ismael Watenga, Mathias Kigonya, Charles Lukwago
Defenders: Patrick Paul Mbowa, Paul Willa, Halid Lwalilwa, Aziz Kayondo, Enock Walusimbi, Mustafa Kizza, Murushid Juuko, Hassan Muhamood
Midfielders: Bobosi Byaruhanga, Shafik Kagimu, Moses Waiswa, Taddeo Lwanga, Allan Okello, Isma Mugulusi, Steven Sserwadda, Ibrahim Orit, Abdu Lumala
Forwards: Derrick Kakooza, Emmanuel Okwi, Steven Mukwaala