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Former junior international Mobi Oparaku made a sensational entry into the management of Heartland FC when he was unveiled as the new Team Manager of the Naze Millionaires. Oparaku was a product of the team who alongside Kanu Nwankwo made the club proud with their performance in the Under-17 category.

Former junior international Mobi Oparaku made a sensational entry into the management of Heartland FC when he was unveiled as the new Team Manager of the Naze Millionaires. Oparaku was a product of the team who alongside Kanu Nwankwo made the club proud with their performance in the Under-17 category.

Unveiling Mobi Oparaku to sports journalists and supporters at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri on Saturday, the new Chairman of the club Hon. Goodfaith Etuemena said the changes was meant to reposition the club for effective service delivery. There was also a dramatic return to the club of former team manager, Promise Nwachukwu who resigned unceremoniously in the wake of the squabble in the team. He is now the Sporting Director of the team. Also making a return is Cajetan Nkwopara as the Director of Media leaving Solomon Onu without a definite position. Former gaffer Ramson Madu also returned as Head Coach while Emmanuel Emelu became the Welfare Officer.
In his maiden press briefing, the new Chairman of Heartland FC, Hon. Goodfaith Chibuzor Etuemena said he accepted to serve the club because there is an important task of rescuing the team saying at no other time in history of the club has it faced an embarrassing relegation from the elite league than now. He went further to state that at no time also, has the club lost face respect and reputation with most of its fans, partners and stakeholders in Nigerian sports fraternity than this period saying if we don't intervene and rescue the team, Heartland will simply go into extinction in the next couple of years. “Supposing I turn down the request to help retrieve Heartland from these burning ashes nor rescue her from shame and if everyone else does the same, what would be the fate of the club? Will the same forces and factors that brought the club to this unfortunate situation allow it to survive even in the national or amateur league? The answer is that if we don't intervene and rescue, Heartland will simply go into extinction in the next couple of years. I leave you all to imagine what would happen to our cherished sporting ideals, the great sacrifices and imprints already made by the great men and women who founded and nurtured this club to the great height it attained”.
Hon. Etuemela disclosed that on arrival in office, he discovered that the League Management Company (LMC) has imposed sanctions on the team based on the crisis that took place in one of its recent matches, making an already bad situation worse, stressing that he has already directed the management team to appeal against aspects of the verdict by the disciplinary committee. According to him, he did so not because they are interested in a legal tussle with the football authorities rather because they have discovered that supporters of the visiting team involved in the crisis played major roles in the retaliatory attacks.
He furthered that his utmost priority now is to ensure that salary arrears owed the players are paid saying welfare and constant motivation of players and officials will form a plank on the agenda of his administration.
Hon. Etuemela commended Gov. Rochas Okorocha for his decision to roll in a new team that will confront headlong all the damages done, mess and dangers that are posing against Heartland's existence and pride saying he is optimistic that this is not yet the end of the road for Heartland. “It is common knowledge that Heartland is now at 18th position in a 20-team league and with just 28 to 30 points after 26 matches; humanly speaking, is already confined to relegation by end of the season. I know for sure, that not many people would want to take the risk, which I want to take but I strongly believe that with God all things are possible and I am determined to do my best”.
Hon. Etuemela appealed to the Nigerian football fraternity to ensure that Heartland is not unjustly booted out of the Premier League saying it will be disservice to see one of Nigeria's illustrious club sides that have contributed immensely to the growth of football in the country to die.

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