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Heartland will make up for last season’s miss, says Emeteole


HEARTLAND’S coach, Kelechi Emeteole, believes his team can make up for last year’s CAF Champions League loss by winning the competition this season despite its slow start to the campaign.

The Owerri club defeated SuperSports United of South Africa 3-1 on Sunday to qualify for its second appearance in the group stage of the competition. But despite the victory, some of the fans present at the Dan Anyiam Stadium felt that the vibrancy that was the trademark of the 2009 team had not returned to the present class.

Emeteole acknowledged this, saying: “You cannot expect us to play the way we did last season because most of the boys who made that possible have left the club. This has left us with the task of building a new team.

“But I think we are getting there. So far in the Champions League, we have not done badly, and I know that with time people will begin to see the Heartland they are used to.”

Among the players who left the team after last year’s competition are the Champions League highest goal scorer, Uche Agba, who is now in Tunisia, and Spain-based Stanley Little Messi’ Okoro. But in Bello Koformata, veteran Emeka Nwana and John Owoeri, Emeteole says he has a strong attacking force.

“We are taking each match at a time with the belief that with time things will fall in place. My team has started coming up and I am sure that by the time the group stage starts, we would have completed building the team.”

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