KNOW YOUR STARS: Left back Adriko finally finds the footing at the Jogoos

© Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
John Adriko in training with the Uganda Cranes at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole

Left footers are a unique blessing to the beautiful game of football.

Seldom do you find an ordinary left footed footballer short of the unusual element.

In one way or the other, a left footer turns around a closely tight football match with an individual moment of brilliance from trickery, explicit cross, dribble, defence splitter or the customary venomous shots.

When Sports Club Villa Jogoo signed John Adriko from Hoima based Kitara F.C, he was initially a left footed attacker.

It took the keen eye of the coach Ibrahim ‘Uchumi’ Kirya to identify the potential of the youngster.

Kirya converted Adriko from a left attacker to a left back, and the results have been evident with his growth in confidence as well as the crucial balance in offence and defense play.

In an exclusive interview with Kawowo Sports, Adriko testifies to have found comfort at left back as he orchestrates and perfects the flank play.

He confesses having learnt from senior players at the club by the time as Isaac Muleme;

When I had just arrived at Villa Park from Hoima. Life was not easy at first.

The competition was definitely tight and challenging but I did not lose hope.

The players like Muleme guided me well and gave me confidence as well. Coach Kirya assured me of the talent and potential I had. All I needed was patience and hard work

© Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
John Adriko races to deliver a cross

At the apex of the 2015/16 season, one of the direct Adriko competitors as Muleme and James Kasibante were released by the club.

This gave him the chance to face reality and get some playing time alongside Yesseri Waibi.

“Competition is good and makes you develop as a player. I trained hard and waited for my chance to come. Indeed, it arrived,” Adriko adds.

He sings praise of Denis Musinguzi, the chairman of Kitara football club and newly elected FUFA delegate, representing the Big league clubs.

“He (Musinguzi) has been my football god-father. He is a counselor and also provided me with basics where life became difficult.”

National team call up

Adriko was recently summoned to the Uganda Cranes’ team that toured the Kitara Region in Fort Portal.

The national team won the game 3-0 with goals coming from Emmanuel Okwi (2) and Nelson Senkatuka.

He vows to continue working diligently ahead of the CHAN and AFCON qualifiers.

“First of all, I was very happy to be called. It proved that hard work eventually pays off. For the hours I injected in personal training, dedication and commitment once fielded proved worthwhile,” he says.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Ambrose Kirya and John Adriko celebrate an SC Villa goal

In a special way, Adriko hails the Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredejevic as a parent, counsellor, motivator and someone who yearns for results.

For now, the left back’s budding career casts a bright future ahead.

Fact File:

  • Full Name: John Adriko
  • Father: Joshua Adriko
  • Mother: Anna Mary Adriko
  • Date of Birth: 10th September 1998
  • Place of Birth: Hoima Municipality
  • Education: St Alosyious Primary School, Kabalega Trust (O & A Level), Gulu University (Diploma in Business)
  • Previous Teams: Ssese Ssaza team, Kitara Football Club