Salim Abdallah, 20, is one of the biggest prospects out of the SC Villa Academy over the recent years.
After great displays with the Junior team in the Junior league, Salim was promoted to the senior team ahead of the 2019/2020 season. Although he has mainly limited to the bench since his promotion, Salim has shown that he has a lot of potential to become one of the best whenever given the chance to make a substitute appearance.
“My parents have been very supportive in my football journey: while he was still alive, my father always inspired and encouraged me that I have to play professional football when I grow. He also said that I should put on the number 10 and when he passed, in his honour I got the number 10 tattooed on my right leg to remember him.
My mother on the other hand continues to support my career up to this day. Growing up, she bought all the necessary attires for me play in. Today, she continues to encourage me to train hard and always believe in myself,” narrated Salim about how his family has influenced his football career.
Moving from the juniors to the seniors, Salim said, “From the Junior Team, I learned very many important things which I have carried forward to the senior team. I learned discipline on and off the pitch. My coaches also taught me very well about positional play that on and off ball movements while on the pitch, I thank them for that. These skills have helped me a lot settle into the senior team without struggling.”
“Transitioning from the junior to the senior team is every youth player’s dream. It is a long journey both physically and mentally because the priorities of the junior team differ from those of the senior team. In the junior team, the main emphasis is on building the style of play and there is little competition.
At the senior team, there is a new challenge which needs to be mentally strong. There is a lot of hard work and competition at the senior team even during training. The trainings are usually very tense in that we not only compete for starting slots but also being included in the match day squad.
On match days, the intensity of the game being played is so high and every player is obliged to pay maximum attention to what is going on even if you are not playing. In the senior team, there are high expectations of you unlike in the junior team.”
Muwarabu, as he is commonly called by his peers and the fans, has been limited to substitute appearances in the league ever since he joined the senior team but every time he comes on, he leaves the fans yearning for more from him. About his limited playing time, he commented that, “I know very many people think I should be getting more game time and even be able to start games but that is for the technical team to decide. I am putting in all the hard work and concentration so that when the time comes for me to feature more often, I perform exceptionally.
I am patient, my time to shine will come and I urge the fans to be patient too.”
“But as I wait for my time to come, I am working on some crucial elements of my game. In this break we are having now, I am working hard so as to improve my physical strength: Physicality is a very important aspect of the modern game. I am also learning a lot from fellow offensive midfielders about ball distribution leading to assists to my teammates and also scoring goals because goals win games,” he added.
Salim is also very happy that his journey from SC Villa Junior Team to the Senior Team has not been a lone stride. He is happy that he has managed to have some of his former teammates at the junior side turn into senior team teammates.
“I am always happy seeing others succeed. It is good seeing Benson, Ssekandi and Gavin become integral members of the senior side. As you very well know, Gavin is the biggest amongst us right now: he is already commanding a place in the starting XI, very disciplined and never depletes in performance. You can see from his performances that a big bright future awaits him.”
About the future, Salim confidently said, “I will most definitely feature more often for my team as it has been this season. I hope to get my first league start and also help my team win more games when the league returns.”
“I would like to thank the coaches and my teammates for the enormous support overtime. Above all I thank Allah because it has always been Allah enabling me achieve all these milestones in my career.”