Caesar Okhuti calls time on playing career to fully concentrate on coaching

Arua Hill Sports Club celebrating FUFA Big League Championship 2021 (18)

Caesar Okhuti has retired from football, ending a 15-year career that saw him win two Uganda Premier League titles and the FUFA Big League.

The 31-year-old Ugandan striker scored 71 career goals for both club and country, with a career high of 18 goals in 2008/09 season, that ranked him as the second top scorer in the Uganda Premier League at Vipers SC.

Widely considered one of the greatest strikers West Nile has produced, he ended his playing career with West Nile side Arua Hill SC as the club’s joint top scorer with five goals in 2020/21 Big League season, consequently helping the Leopards clinch promotion to Uganda Premier League.

Okhuti spent the last 10 months of his career as a player and a coach of Arua Hill and St. Leo FC respectively.

Okhuti represented the national team in 2008 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, 2011 Nile Basin Tournament, 2011 CHAN,  2015 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, and 2016 CHAN. He has also featured in the Africa Cup of Nation Qualifiers and World Cup Qualifiers.

He developed his football talent through secondary football as he featured for Mvara S.S and later St. Joseph College Ombachi in the early 2000s, but had to wait till 2006 to find a major breakthrough to play club football at the age of 16 with Ediofe Hills FC (defunct).

It was at Ediofe when he announced himself in the Ugandan football scene in 2006 after he helped the second division side to qualify for 2007 top flight competition.

Known for his speed, perfect first touch, excellent ball control, ability in the air, powerful and accurate strikes, and ball retention, he was able to catch the eyes of the Uganda Cranes coach Csaba László, who gave him his first call-up to represent the Cranes in the 2007 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania.

He is remembered for his outstanding performance in the quarter finals of the tournament,  where he scored the opener against Kenya and later scored the winner in a 4-2 penalty shootout.

His status as premier league material sealed following the sparkling performance with the national team, Vipers SC came knocking and he opened by signing a three year deal in 2008. Okhuti would later on move to play for Vietnamese side, Vissai Ninh Binh (2011), before returning for his second stint at Vipers SC between 2012 to 2014.

He played for South Sudan side El Nasir in 2014/15 season and came back to Uganda where he featured for Onduparaka FC in 2015, then joined Express FC during the 2015/16 season. His good performance with the Red Eagles earned him a move to KCCA FC in the second round of  2015/2016.

In 2016/17 season, Onduparaka FC acquired his service on a long season loan deal before turning it permanent the following season. Okhuti signed for Arua Hill in January 2020 and was named the team captain by Hussein Mbalangu in October 2020 due to his experience and leadership skills, both on and off the pitch.

He made his Arua Hill debut in March 25, 2021 against Blacks Power FC at Barifa play ground in the FUFA Big League fixture where he scored his debut goal.

He went on to score five goals in nine appearances in regular season. Okhuti who has worked on his beginners coaching badge  kicked his last in the Big League finals which the Leopards won 1-0 against Tooro United in August 17, 2021.

Okhuti’s team achievements are also notable: two CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in 2008 and 2015, two Uganda Premier League title with Vipers SC in 2009/10 and KCCA FC in 2015/16.

Arua Hill wishes Okhuti the best in his next challenge.