Stephen Latek Odong is a young but very tall gentleman.

It is very easy to mistake the youthful fresh graduate of development studies from Gulu University for a thirty or plus lad.

His stature vis-à-vis the true age, to say the least has left a strong debate everywhere his foot mark has left a mark.

The well built goal keeper, the 5th born in the family of seven confesses many of his close associates adore his incredible height.

He boldly attributes his gradual progression to the unquestioned hours invested in training drills.

My football journey has been punctuated by effortless training drills even in the off-season. Besides, I have also been dedicated and respectful to all the people to include my team-mates, coaches, elders and even those younger than

Odong was born 22 years ago on the 16th June 1993 at Lacor Hospital in Gulu Municipality to Lt. Col Jacob Okot (now deceased) and Margaret Okot.

Upon the unfortunate demise of his father, Odong, then 14 years of age was lucky that one his elder brothers, Benson Okot took over the responsibility of meeting his day to day needs.

“Okot (his brother, now a bank manager at Imperial Bank, Kampala) has been there for me and i owe my success to him. When daddy died, he bought the clothes, paid fees until in completed university last year” Odong recounts.

Odong is now the number one goal keeper at the 16 time record Uganda premier league winners, Sports Club.

He was recruited in the May transfer window from Lira based FUFA Big league club, Sporting United.

“To play for SC Villa is a big honour. I have worked for the moment and will maintain to keep the form so that the coaches consider me” he adds.

Odong was one of the two goal keepers that were used at the recent Uganda Cranes regional tour of Kitara region.

“The summon to the Uganda Cranes team came as a surprise to me and i am glad to have worked under a technically gifted goal keeping coach (Fred Kajoba). Playing for Uganda Cranes was a dream come true and i look forward towards maintaining the status quo”

Odong, a graduate of development studies targets scaling the heights for a professional stint in a big European club.

“As footballers, our prime target is to work hard and hit to the summit by playing professional football. I aspire to make it to Europe in a top elite league in the coming years” he dreams.

For now, Odong, who has already kept goal for SC Villa in the opening five fixtures of the 2015/16 season, composure and consistence remain two key elements to his career.

Odong Tit Bits:

Full Names: Stephen Latek Odong

DO.B – 16th June 1993

Place of Birth: Lacor Hospital, Gulu

Parents: Lt.Col Jacob Okot and Margaret Okot

Education: Unifat primary School, Negri Primary School, Gulu,  Standard High Zana (Secondary school),Gulu University (Graduated with Bachelors in Development Studies).

Football Career: Ngeri Football Academy (Gulu), Standard High School (Post primary football), Gulu United (First Division & Premier league football – 2009-2011), Sporting United (2013/14), Sports Club Villa (Current)

Dream: To play professional football

Role Model: Elder Brother, Benson Okot (Bank Manager, Imperial Bank, Kampala)

Strong Points: Good game reading and strong catch

Weak Points: Ball clearance

Best Friend: Joyce Mary Akao

Best Food: Beans and Posho

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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