When Onduparaka Football Club started as a community club way back in 2011, one player, Alex Gasper “The Rock” Adriko was one of the founding pillars with the team.
Right as a village team that played leisure football, one step led to the other and the club at the moment commands one of the biggest fan base in the country.
It was registered in the Arua District Football League, got promoted to the regional, Star Times FUFA Big League and now in the top tier Star Times Uganda Premier League since 2015.
Right back Adriko thus far remains the most loyal servant having stuck to the club through the thick and thin moments.
In an interview with www.fufa.co.ug, Adriko reflects back to the early challenges, boldly shares the opportunities and benefits that have come with playing the beautiful game, discusses the best and worst moments at Onduparaka and his future plans.
QUESTION: When did you start playing football?
Adriko: I started playing football when I was young in primary, we used to follow Big players and watch them play.i started playing at the inception of oduparaka football club, when it was nothing yet.
QUESTION: What opportunities can you boast of from the beautiful game of football?
Adriko: There are many good things football has brought to me. The first one is that I have known many people. Secondly, football helped me avoid friends who used to eat miraa (khat), mairungi and all those other drugs.
Best of all, football has helped improve my family and am looking for brighter things yet to come.
QUESTION: Share with us your best match in life
Adriko: Actually, there are two games I have enjoyed. The first one was Onduparaka against KCCA in the first season we were playing in the Uganda Premier League. Then, the recent game this season against Vipers at St Mary’s Kitende. In the two matches, we lost the battles but i really felt I played to my best.
QUESTION: No question, you are arguably the longest serving player at Onduparaka Football Club. Why have you lived so long with the club. Did you get any offers from other clubs?
Adriko: I have stayed here for a long time because of the good relationship with the club chairman (Benjamin Nyakuni). He has been good to all of us all this time. He has advised and counseled us. He told us the future will be bright and good things are yet to come. When someone like the chairman is good to you, you need not to disappoint them and that is why I have been here for so long otherwise I had offers but I did not want to disappoint him so I have stuck around (laughs).
QUESTION: Football is a game of high and low moments? Point out your lowest moment in football?
Adriko: That career ending injury I got which lasted for almost 2 seasons. I was kept out of active football for very long but I kept the faith. I am glad to be back to full fitness.
QUESTION: Which has been your worst game played at Onduparaka?
Adriko: The match we (Onduparaka) lost to Jinja Municipal Council Hippos at Nakivubo Stadium during the FUFA Big League play off final. It remains my worst game and I hate watching those videos…. aaah I don’t want to even remember that game (Laughs)
QUESTION: Among the players you have faced, who do you regard as your toughest opponent?
Adriko: It is Viane Ssekajuko (former Onduparaka left winger, now at Wakiso Giants). However much I prepare, he always torments me. He has the brains and speed. Each time we meet, he gives me really hard time but later in the game I try to tame him (Smiles).
QUESTION: Football is about the past, present and future. Where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time?
Adriko: In 2 years, I am braced for fresh challenges ahead of me. Who knows, I will not be probably at Onduparaka. Next season, I want to up my game and other clubs look for me. I have been impeded by injuries but now am okay and focused on trying new ventures. Am sure if I leave people will still be happy for me because I have been loyal to the club and given my best at all the times.
QUESTION: What message do you leave to the general public?
Adriko: If you have any child out there and has the talent allow the child to express themselves in that talent and always support that talent in anyway possible.
What others say:
This is great. Such players in these modern times should be celebrated – FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo
We Salute Gasper for standing the taste of time , Being with us all through. We know that you are all about the team. We hope you will take a moment to reflect on a career that has seen transformation all through, new mates, many runs over the years.. Congrats Gasper. Here is a Goodluck for continued UPL with the Caterpillars – Onduparaka Football Club
Today I choose to celebrate the most loyal player to ONDUPARAKA FOOTBALL CLUB. He has been with the club right from 5th division today’s. Such loyalty is very rare, join me in saluting a football hero, Adriko Adriko Gasper ” the rock” – Mike Letti, West Nile Region FA Football Delegate
Gasper Adriko has always given his all for Onduparaka Football Club. He is Catarpillar’s number one fan since time immemorial – Gadafi Wahabu, former captain at Onduparaka FC
In life, you rarely find as loyal players as Gapser Adriko. His loyalty has definitely moved him far. He is also a hardworking and disciplined player – Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, former coach at Onduparaka FC
Gasper Adriko is a rare breed of a player. So hardworking and very, very disciplined. I loved working with him for all my time at Onduparaka Football Club – Allan Kabonge, former coach at Onduparaka