While the world slates Allan Okello for downgrading from a professional stint at AC Paradou, to a lesser KCCA FC, the Uganda Cranes prospect might have just made the best decision of his life.
The 22-year-old returned to the country for a season-long loan, midway through his four-year contract with the Algerian outfit, keen on putting his career back on track.
At the time of his departure to Algeria in 2020, Okello had the world by his feet, with the football faithful certain the move would be the stepping stone to some of the better footballing countries.
He was only 19 then, but, he was such a prospect. Under the stewardship of Mike Mutebi at KCCA, everyone hoped he would make it to the dream leagues, especially those who watched him tear defences to shreds.
Now he’s back. Despite the frustration that he may carry along, he’s back in Uganda as a man and not a teenager. He would be more realistic about himself and better at decision-making.
There’s every reason to believe that Okello’s career can still get back to feats Mutebi had designed. Ugandans can still dream of seeing the player they envisaged, he’s still only 22.
It is a realistic possibility the boy can as well follow 21-year Sadat Anaku’s footsteps into Europe – never mind, the latter was initially supposed to follow his.
At only 22, Okello has the exposure of a 26-year-old, as he came to our faces at a tender age. He’s now in a position to make unrushed decisions to further his career.
Okello now knows where he can trade and the kind of personnel he needs around to get to heights the world knows he can get to.
He’s back at a ground he knows perfectly well, an environment that treasures him like raw uncut diamonds.
He’s back to rule as he did then, with the kind of support he needs to take off, at least one more time.
At KCCA, he’s a jewel and it’s without a doubt he will play as long as he’s breathing. It can only get back to him and how easily he’ll adapt to the new-look ‘Kasasiro.’
The silky left-footed little maestro has seen some of his age-mates get to better strides – the likes of Anaku, Musa Ramathan, Aziz Kayondo, and Steven Sserwadda among others.
Okello was by far ahead of the rest in terms of natural ability and discipline. Nothing has changed – he hasn’t lost his touch and that can be seen with the minutes he gets with the Cranes.
It’s only about the choices. North Africa can’t be the place anymore. A renowned football agent, who preferred anonymity, dreads the decision to have players play in the Maghreb.
“When we try not to repeat these mistakes, people think we are stupid,” he said with a feeling of hurt.
In his first spell at the MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo, the midfielder netted 39 times in 112 games. He’ll be hoping for an even better one-year show, as he assesses the best choices for his young career.