Return Of ‘Caterpillar’ Emeteole At Heartland

It’s about the fourth coming of Coach Kelechi Emeteole to the Naze Millionaires and he says ‘it is like a farmer returning to start fresh cultivation and hope for bountiful harvest”.
He has coached the team then known as Spartans FC and which later mutated to Iwuanyanwu Nationale and presently as Heartland FC.
Emeteole started out playing for the Spartans and rose through the ranks as Assistant Coach to become the Chief Coach and there is very little achievements he has to declare from that reign. “It was my beginning and we were just making up the numbers but never relegated”, Emeteole said from the camp in Orlu ahead the opening clash with Dolphins FC from Port Harcourt this Sunday.
His fondest memory of the stints at Owerri was more recent and it was with Heartland, a side he took to the continent twice reaching the CAF Champions League finals in 2009 losing to TP Mazembe on away goals difference following a 2-2 aggregate score line.
Heartland opens their Glo Premier League 2013/14 season campaign against Dolphins of Port Harcourt, but Emeteole predicts that Dolphins will be in for a raw deal if only the players will translate their training forms into match situation.
“There is something about football players in Nigeria…they dazzle you in training and sometimes when it comes to the real match crunch, you get a different deal.
If my players translate their training drills on Sunday, only a super natural force will save Dolphins from humiliation”, boasted the Coach nicknamed Caterpillar in his playing days due to his defensive intelligence.
In Julius Obidigu and Orji Okagbue, the Coach reposes so much confidence and little surprise, the two are defenders but he was quick to dismiss any suggestion that he is building a defensive minded squad.
“I may have played as a defender but I put this defensive background to advantage by grooming players who are made to exploit the defensive weakness I am too aware of.
“So, while the structures I am used to is yet to bloom here, Julius and Orji are some of the players I am counting on to sustain my record at Heartland”, explained the Coach who worked in the backroom for Super Eagles Coach, Shuaib Amodu in 1996 and 2002 Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers.
Heartland finished 11th on the log in the 2012/13 season and this term, Emeteole is setting his eyes on another continental ticket. Again, he puts a caveat, “I have just taken over and yet to have my full structures but the players have been quite impressive at training and this is what I am counting on for a successful season”.


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