Little known Abdallah Ssekandi is another of the blossoming talents out of the SC Villa Academy.
The calm and collected central midfielder joined the Villa Academy in 2014 aged 15. Since then, Ssekandi has managed to steadily improve his football knowledge and skills which in turn impressed his coaches at the Academy. He was promoted to the senior team at the second half of 2019/2020 season.
“Elevation from the Academy to the Senior Team was a childhood dream come true. I felt so happy and special the moment I learned that I was promoted to the senior team of a club of Villa’s stature. Just like any other young player, I also dreamed of playing for the club I love at a senior level one day. It took me years of training hard and learning a lot from my coaches but I thank Allah that I finally managed to do it.
“Moving to the senior team was not easy because at the senior team, every thing changed from the training drills, coaches’ expectations from the whole squad, preparations from games and expectations from games.
At the senior team, we really work so hard in order to give 100% for the success of the team which was not at the Junior Team. At the Junior Team it was all about getting used to having the ball at your feet, enjoying ball and making the ball an eternal friend. Winning was just a bonus.
At the Junior Team, after team training, we used to go and attend to our other businesses but at the senior team, football is the business: after general team training, I go back home and then focus on personal training so that I improve on some individual qualities as a player,” narrated Ssekandi about how life has changed as a footballer since joining the senior team.
“Ever since I joined the senior team, I have been observing and trying to learn a lot from the already established central midfielders like (Amir) Kakomo. Kakomo is a very hardworking player, during training he works with the same intensity with which he plays games with. This motivated me to also worker harder during team and personal training. When it comes to match days, he is always serious on pitch however weak one might view the opponents. This something I am looking forward to emulate.
The senior team players are also very respectful, they do not under-look anyone.”
Ever since he was promoted to the senior team, Ssekandi has always been able to make the 18 men match day squad whenever he was fit but on very few occasions he has been able to make substitute appearances for SC Villa. This season he has only managed one substitute appearance when he came on in the 92nd minute in place of Emmanuel Wasswa on match day one.
The 21 year old is optimistic that he will get more playing time, on this he said, “Playing aside, to me making the match day squad is vital step in my development as a professional player. There is a lot of competition at the team that even being named on the 18 man squad list takes a lot of hard work in training.
As I said earlier, I am working hard to improve some aspects about my game like mobility on the pitch, on pitch communication, passing and dribbling techniques so when I am given a bigger change to showcase my talent, I do not disappoint.
But as the season progresses, I am confident that I will feature in more games.”
A look at fellow Academy graduates, Ssekandi heaped praise on his teammates saying, “I expect a lot from fellow Academy graduates Salim and Benson. They work hard and whenever they are called upon they really help the team. They are future stars not only for SC Villa but for the country as well.”
“Most importantly I want to thank Allah for this journey. I also thank Mr. (Shawn) Mubiru for all the support not forgetting all the coaches at SC Villa who always believed in me: without them, I would have may be taken another path.”
“Looking forward to the return of football,” concluded Abdallah Ssekandi.