Federation Cup Champions, Heartland football club of Owerri will on Saturday, January 26, trade tackles with NPL side, Akwa United in a pre-season friendly at the Uyo Township Stadium. Both sides are expected to use the encounter as build-up for the start of the 2012/2013 Nigerian Premier League Season scheduled for February 16. The game will be another good test for the Naze millionaires after their success story at the pre-season Super Four tournament inKano. Heartland would need this type of games to keep their players in good shape for the NPL season and the CAF cup games that also starts in February (but Heartland will not be in action until March). It would be recalled that Heartland incidentally played Akwa United in their last game of the NPL’s 2011/12 season as Kabiru Umar’s solitary goal separated the two sides in Owerri. Heartland striker, Jolly Osas stated that his side will approach the game with all seriousness even though it’s not a competitive encounter. “The friendly is timely coming at the heels of the completion of the Super Four tournament. It would help us to keep shape for the start of the new season.
So it’s a welcomed development and I believe my teammates will give it the utmost attention it deserves”, Osas noted.
The team by no means has shown so much commitment in winning back to back the Federation Cup against Lobi stars inLagoson august 20, 2012. Heartland also did beat Kano Pillars 2-0 in Port Harcourt to lift the 2011/12 Super Cup before recently winning the NPL’s pre-season’s Super Four tournament organized by the newly constituted Interim Management Committee for the nation’s continental club sides.