Former KCCA FC hotshot Allan Okello has opened up on his spell at Algerian side Paradou AC.
Okello joined the Algerian club from Uganda Premier League side KCCA FC in January 2020.
Prior to joining his new side, the former KCCA midfielder was the shinning star in Ugandan football due to his exceptional talent and performances at his club.
However, his stint in Algeria has not panned as expected with playing time hard to come by.
While speaking to Sanyuka Tv, Okello who is currently in Uganda because flight disconnections to Algeria, gave an insight of life in Algeria.
“Everything is fine with the club and am still there. The only reason am still in Uganda is that flights to Algeria are closed, they are under lockdown, flights are not allowed, you can just leave but can’t enter in Algeria”, Okello stated.
Despite a bright start , scoring on his debut in the Algerian cup against Bayaf in February last year, Okello had endured a rough patch of limited playing time. However, he says it’s not the same situation this season.
“It has been wonderful and great season, I missed a lot this season, I had to do much better and help the club. But for me I played more games than last season so it’s good for me as a player.
“I got injured at the start of the season, I was recovering and under rehabilitation so I caught up late with my fellow players so it’s not about competition but the time with the team.
“When I caught up with them, I started being in every game. When you make it to the team, you are always the right person to be there.”
He added: “I think comparing this season and last season, and like I said if I wasn’t doing good , I wouldn’t have played more matches than the ones I have had this season. So I got into the system, had to be quick, get into the style of play, learn the language. So I think at the moment it’s much better for me because I have done much better than i did last season.”
Prior to his departure from KCCA, Okello has elevated into the main man at the Kasasiro boys and a darling to many of the fans. He says a change in position of play has affected his performances on the pitch of play.
“Yes me at the club, am not playing the same position I used to play at KCCA FC so me as a player I think the contribution I have made to the team in the few matches played, it’s much better for me because if I was with the team for long, I would have done much better.”
Like any other in a foreign land, there are always challenges expected as it is a new experience in a career.
Ranging from climate changes, language barriers and new culture. it is always adaptation to new way of life.
For Okello, his major challenge has been language barrier
“In training and matches, I have a problem with the coaches discussing with me the tactics because of the language. So the coach speaks a different language, I speak a different one, so it’s difficult for me to understand the tactics at first. So I have to learn from my fellow players, be quick. And these fellow players, you are competing with them which makes it difficult again. But am improving, not Arabic but i speak more of French.”
Making matters hard for the Ugandan midfielder, Okello is the only foreign based player in the team at Paradou.
“Its so challenging because the players don’t understand what me as a foreign player I go through in the club. So if we were many foreign players like three or six, we could actually understand each other and get confidence together. So I need to motivate my self, put my minds together without anyone’s help”.
Many Ugandan players who have plied trade in Arab countries have found life difficult, and at times don’t make agrade.
For Okello, the case is not that different with the little time he has spent in Algeria.
“Its never easy to play in the Arabs, you see players coming and getting back in 6 months, I don’t blame them because I have ever gone through the same experience but you need to sacrifice a lot.
“You need to have a strong mentality this side in the Arabs, they are not easy at all.”
At the time he left the Lugogo based side, Okello was a shinning star for his side, and making a move away from his boyhood club was a big decision.
However he doesn’t regret making the decision, as he eyes a potential move to Europe.
“I don’t regret joining Paradou. Its has been a very good experience for me and still a good one. As a player who dreams playing in Europe, this is a step. If I get a chance to get into the set up of Europe it could be great.
“When you are in the set up of Algeria, it’s almost the same like Europe, but when you are in Uganda, you are still a step behind, so I don’t regret Making a step to reaching my dream.
He added: “Honestly I would have thought of coming back,but I can’t, I made a step forward so I have to keep here, be determined, mentally strong and go forward.”