Thursday 12 September 2013 16:30

The lowdown on Paul Okon

Younger Club fans may have heard about Paul Okon, but there's plenty to see on his resume.

A young Okon kicked off his careeer at Australian Marconi Stallions 49 (1989-1991). In the year Club celebrated its 100th birthday, Okon signed a multi-year deal at Olympia. In the first few months of his stay, the coaching staff allowed him some adaptation time, but it didn&#39;t take long for Okon to convince the staff of his many skills, which lead to a swift addition to the first team selection. Under coach Hugo Broos, Paul Okon was initially lined up as a central midfielder. A series of events had the stylish player end up in the back line, however, and it&#39;s in this position that he soon emerged as Belgium&#39;s most reliable central defender. Critical acclaim followed: in 1996, Okon won the Golden Boot award in Knokke, and ten months later he was elected Oceanic player of the year. His list of honours at Club is graced by two league titles (1992-1996), two Cups (1995-1996) and three Supercups (1991-1992-1994).</p>

Paul Okon and the Golden Boot (1996)

This breakthrough opened doors, and he soon found himself at Lazio Roma (1996-99), AC Fiorentina (1999-2000), Middlesbrough (2000-2002), Watford (2002), Leeds United (2002-2003) and Italian Vicenza (2003). Quite a surprise in 2004, as Oostende successfully lured Paul Okon to the Albert Parc. This resulted in a promotion for the second divisionists through the play-offs. This wasn&#39;t the end of the road for Okon: in 2005-2006, he wore the Apo&euml;l Nicosia jersey, and ended his career one year later at Newcastle United.</p>
Paul Okon returned to his home country, where he started a managing career at Apia Leichhardt (2008-2009). He was in charge of the national U19 selection, and was also manager at Gold Coast United. In 2011, he became assistant coach to the Australian U21s. In that same year, he enthusiastically took up Club&#39;s offer to serve as their scout for Oceania. With the signing of Mathew Ryan this season, it&#39;s clear another Australian gem has made its way to our stadium. &nbsp;</p>

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