Friday, August 28, 2009

Heartland’s Form Scares Glo League’s MVP

Last season’s Globacom Premier League Most Valuable Player (MVP), Chibuzor Okonkwo, has declared that rival, Heartland Football Club, is Nigerian top side following its performance in the just-concluded Super Four in Ilorin.
Heartland FC won the Glo Super Four with six points after defeating Warri Wolves and Bayelsa United by 2-0 and 1-0 respectively though it lost its opening game by a lone goal to Enyimba, which finished in second place.
Okonkwo, who was named as the Premier League’s best player of the 2008/2009 campaign, believes that Heartland FC has the squad to compete for the title in the coming season.
The former Gabros International defender conceded that the Naze Millionaires was clearly the most enterprising side in the Super Four that was concluded last Saturday in the ancient town of Ilorin.
“Except we want to lie to ourselves, Heartland was no doubt the best team in the Super Four Cup. In their first game, they were just unlucky to have lost to Enyimba by a lone goal because they took charge of that game until Enyimba scored a late goal. But we saw what they did against Warri Wolves. They won by 2-0 and the way they played reminds me of how they played at some points during last season.
“Heartland have quality players and they showed us that when they won against us by a lone goal. Even though they had one man sent off, they still played as if they had 11 players on the pitch and that does not happen all the time. I believe that when next season begins Heartland FC will be one of the clubs that will challenge for the title because in the last two seasons they have been consistent,” he said.
On the lacklustre performance of Bayelsa United in the Super Four, Okonkwo responded that some of the players are still grappling to get to terms with the playing so many matches within short periods.
He added that the Globacom Premier League champion’s form has suffered a dip due to factors that he would rather not want to mention.
“There are so much happening that has led to the club performing poorly in recent times after winning the league. But I would not want to go into details for now for certain reasons. At the same time, we have players that have not played too matches within a few days. So the issue of fatigue is also telling on the team,” he said.
Okonkwo also acknowledged that Stanley Ohawuchi’s absence in the Super Four due to his engagement with the Flying Eagles played a part in his side’s inability to score a single goal at the Super Four.

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