Everything has happened so fast – Kato Samuel

Gangly Center half Kato Samuel might have his name on the lips of many because of his brilliant displays and rise to the senior team but to the young man it is only just the beginning and there is plenty to achieve for him.

Kato Samuel Nemeyimana made his senior debut for KCCA FC against Tanzania’s Azam FC in the group stages of the CECAFA Cup held in Rwanda in June/ July 2019.

I remember Coach Mike Mutebi telling me in Rwanda that I was going to start the next game against Azam FC. This was after we picked a point against Kenya’s Bandari in the opening group game.

Kato Samuel
Okello (right) celebrates a goal with Kato Samuel and Musa Ramathan

In his senior six vacation then, the big center half went on to play all the remaining games and was a key member in KCCA FC’s journey to end the 49 years wait without winning the CECAFA Clubs Championship.

Kato played five games in the CECAFA 2019 and kept two clean sheets both coming against Azam FC in the group stages and in the final.

He played in the super 8 tournament and commanded the backline excellently well against Wakiso Giants, Onduparaka and in the finals against Vipers which the club lost hence missing out on grabbing the second super 8 trophy in as many years.

The lanky man also led KCCA FC to clinch the fourth super cup in a row in a Uganda Premier league curtain-raiser game held at Startimes Stadium, Lugogo before the start of 2019/20 season

The youngster has since played two league games for KCCA FC against Busoga United and Wakiso Giants where he has registered clean sheets on both occasions.

Kato Samuel in a duel with a Petro de Luanda player in the CAF Champions League game in Luanda

But the catchy one for the big man is the CAF Champions League. When KCCA FC beat Ethiopia’s St George 1-0 to qualify for the group stages in 2017, Kato was at the time enrolling for Advanced level at Buddo Senior Secondary School. Little did he know that two years later, he would be in the situation he is in now as he narrates.

I was joining senior five at Budo SSS when KCCA FC made it to the group stages in 2017. I got to know that the club had made history when i checked online then. I had a dream to play for KCCA FC and i knew that in order for my dream to come true i had to keep playing well at school for me to be seen.

In 2018 when i was made Football captain at Budo SSS i ensured the school would win all competitions we played in and indeed we won under my leadership. Then came the opportunity to do trials at KCCA FC and thanks be to God i passed and joined the team but as a squad player as my license was being processed.

Kato Samuel.

Fast forward August 2019 and the club is drawn against Namibia’s African Stars FC. Kato Samuel and Peter Magambo started the away game against the West African side

KCCA FC’s six promoted players to the senior team before the beginning of the 2019/20 season. Kato Samuel is third from right.

It had been my dream to play in the CAF Champions League and here was the opportunity. Sadly we lost 3-2 away. But i kept motivating myself that it is just one bad game and kept telling myself all these positive things. We later played the Namibians in the second leg and won 2-0 at home and qualified for the final round. I was so happy to keep a clean sheet in a sellout stadium at home and making our fans happy.

Kato Samuel on African Stars FC

The club was then drawn against Angola’s Petro de Luanda in the final qualifier game before the group stages.

We went to Angola with confidence and the coaches prepared us well for that game. We played for our lives, fans, pride and we picked up a decent result away from home. Now here we are with 90 minutes to decide the fate. We know what is at stake. We want to make history and get to the group stages again. For me as a player, everything has happened so fast. If I told you two years ago that I would be playing in the CAF Champions League at this time you would think I am deluded. But here I am living my dream.

Kato Samuel on Petro de Luanda
Kato Samuel blocks Petro de Luanda’s Isaac Mensah in the first leg at Estadio 11 de Novembro

Kato Samuel has played 14 games for KCCA FC. Five in CECAFA, three in Pilsner Super 8, three in CAF Champions League, super cup final and two league games.

He has managed to keep two clean sheets in CECAFA, one in super 8, two in the league and two in CAF Champions League. Making it seven clean sheets in 14 games played for KCCA FC.

Asked about his role model, Kato told www.kccafc.co.ug this;

I want to win with this club. I have been blessed to play with players like Timothy Awany before he left the club. I want to emulate him. The way he was comfortable on the ball and his leadership on and off the pitch was second to none.

Kato Samuel on Timothy Awany being his role model

The former u17 national team player for Uganda will be playing his 15th game for KCCA FC on Friday 27th September 2019 against Petro de Luanda in the 2nd leg of the Final round at Startimes Stadium, Lugogo