Cranes and KCCA FC forward Allan Okello has been voted the inaugural winner of the Football256 Footballer of the Year Award.
The 19-year-old beat competition from stalwarts such as Denis Onyango, Juma Balinya, Timothy Awany and Patrick Henry Kaddu to take home the prize.
The award commemorates the first annual anniversary of football256, the biggest online portal for the hottest news and analysis about Ugandan, regional and African football.
The youngster has scored 18 goals since November 2018, a period where he’s brandished dominant and jaw dropping performances for the ‘Kasasiro’ boys.
“It’s a great feeling and honour for me to win the inaugural award. I want to thank everyone who has voted for me, and I would like to win it also next year!” Okello told football256.
As well as inspiring his club to the Uganda Premier League title, Okello scored three goals as KCCA won the CECAFA Club championship for the first time in 30 years.
He also netted in his club’s 4-1 rout of Proline as they won the FUFA Super Cup; their third trophy triumph in a space of three months.
Okello assisted Fahad Bayo and scored the second for himself as the Uganda cranes sealed qualification for next year’s African Nations Championships (CHAN) slated for Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Its been a great year for me, ultimately my dream has been making it to the national team. And throughout the last year, my journey with the senior team started.” Okello added.
“I want to always make everyone happy, and this victory is for my fans who voted for me. These are the things that keep motivating and driving me to always put up my best on the pitch.” He continued.
The KCCA academy graduate was promoted to the senior team in 2016. He quickly put his mark on the Ugandan league by grabbing a hat-trick on his senior debut against Onduparaka in February 2017.
He has since gone on to become a mainstay in manager Mike Mutebi’s KCCA side which won their first ever league and cup double in the club’s history in 2017.
He was instrumental as KCCA became the first ever Ugandan side to reach the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup later that year.
KCCA and Okello would even go one better the following year as they made the group stages of the CAF Champions League. A feat no other Ugandan side is yet to achieve.
Okello reached another milestone as he clocked a century of appearances for KCCA, the youngest ever player to boast of such a milestone.
On the national front, Okello has featured for the U-17, U-20 and U-23 sides. He was called up to the senior team for the Cranes’ last qualifying game against Tanzania, but he would wait for his debut.
Okello was a central figure for the Cranes team that sealed a fifth consecutive qualification for the 2020 African Nations Championships, scoring against Burundi in the return leg, as the Cranes cruised to a 6-0 aggregate victory.
The voting process which lasted weeks through our online portal received a total of 98,162 votes, Okello managed 45,826 votes, Juma Balinya closely followed with 36894 votes.
Patrick Kaddu was third with 9850, Denis Onyango and Timothy Awany collected 3620 and 1972 respectively.