Technical Adviser of Go Round FC Wilfred Udube says playing against Heartland FC, the club he started out as a player and coach would be “emotional” but he still aims to get a victory over his former side.
Udube has a close connection with Heartland having started his professional career with the club in 1993 when they were still known as Iwuanyanwu Nationale and had four different stints in total with them in his playing career.
After hanging up his boots in 2005 and obtaining a coaching license, it was Heartland where he began his coaching career in 2009 and he was part of the backroom staff that won the 2013 Federation Cup for the club in 2012.
Udube who says he was sacked by Heartland “for nothing” in 2013, then began a long winding journey as a manager ultimately culminating in his appointment as Technical Adviser of Go Round FC in 2018 – his first job as a manager in the topflight.
He leads his charges to where it all began for him in a Matchday 4 encounter at the Okigwe Township Stadium and while Udube admits to feeling emotional about his return, he says his job is to “defend” the interests of his current employers.
“It’s emotional, but then this is my job,” Udube told busybuddiesng.com.
“There is a proverb in Igbo language that says you defend where you work.
“It’s very very emotional that I’m coming to play against a team where I started my career as a coach.
“But then you just have to do what you do well and get prepared no matter wherever you are, you still defend where you are working.
“So my coming to Okigwe today to play against Heartland is emotional but then we just have to play.”
Go Round have had a very good start to the season, picking up a first ever win away from home at the Umuahia Township Stadium where they shocked Abia Warriors in a 2 – 1 victory on match day 1.
That victory was followed up with a goalless draw at home to FC Ifeanyi Ubah last time out.
They come up against a Heartland side in a rich vein of form with victories in their last two games at home to Plateau United and away to Nasarawa United scoring four goals in total without conceding.
In two previous encounters in the league, Heartland have won one and drawn the other but Udube says Heartland’s form and superior record notwithstanding, his side won’t sit back in Okigwe but would take the game to their hosts and he is banking on his players to replicate what they achieved the last time they played away from home.
“My game plan today is just my normal way, for us to go and play,” he says, “we are not coming here to play defensive, we have to take the ball to them let them know that we are here for business.
“So we have a pattern and a way we play in our away matches still if that pattern will work out today for us we will know.
“We don’t play defensive game when we are away, when you are too defensive you now bring opponents closer to your goal area there’s this normal adage which says that the best way to defend is to attack and we are not coming here to defend we are coming here to play and as such if my players would be able to bring 85% of what they did in Umuahia I strongly believe that we are going to make a very good game today.”