Jacob Okoa Credit: John Batanudde

Jacob Okao, 19, featured in his first-ever season of the Uganda Premier League, winning on the debut appearance.

A graduate from the famous footballing hub at St Mary’s SS – Kitende, Okao is pleased having been given this once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the country’s top tier football league.

“I am humbled having been given the opportunity to play in the Uganda Premier League for the first time as a young player. I will forever live to remember and cherish this moment,” the soft spoke but confident defender disclosed to Kawowo Sports.

Jacob Okoa Credit: John Batanudde

He featured in eight matches of the 25 total games that Vipers was involved in, physically playing against Kyetume, Sports Club Villa, Onduparaka, Mbarara city Proline, and Jinja based BUL.

The towering confident defender made the 18 man squad against URA, Maroons, and KCCA.

Okao who also guided St Mary’s SS – Kitende to the 2019 Copa Coca Cola championship in Jinja as well as the East African football title in Dodoma, Tanzania believes that the offered opportunity is a springboard to higher heights in his career.

“I want to use this opportunity as a stepping stone in my career. The focus is to become one of the best defenders in the Uganda Premier League and get summoned to the Uganda Cranes team,” he adds.

Jacob Okoa Credit: John Batanudde

Senior Players’ Influence

In a special way, Okao salutes the role of the senior players on the Vipers’ team who gave him the confidence, counseling, and encouragement time over and again.

“Senior players as Halid (Lwaliwa), Wasswa (Geoffrey), Siraje (Ssentamu), Brian (Nkuubi), Ndugwa (Abraham) and Bayo (Fahad) among others all played a special role to me to lift me up with constant words of encouragement. Also, the coaches and fans pushed me and I am humbled,” Okao adds.

Okao is eyeing his second season in the top flight division at Vipers come the kick-off of the 2020/21 season.

He is expected to be part of the Venoms squad that has central defenders as Halid Lwaliwa, Geofrey Wasswa, Bashir Asiku, youngster Ahmed Amayo and the returning Livingstone Mulondo who was sided lined with injury for the whole of last season.

Vipers officially unveiled left-winger Dissan Galiwango at a time there are also other left-footed defenders as Farouk Musisi, Abdul Azizi Kayondo, and the back from loan Dan Birikwalira.

Right-back Innocent Wafula is also still up and running prior to the 2021-21 season at the same time Vipers will also play in the CAF Champions League.

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

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