Heartland FC boss Fidelis Ilechukwu says he needs reinforcements to his squad to help cope with the demands of a gruelling campaign as they get set to kick off their season opener on Monday.
The Naze Millionaires travel to Katsina United for their opening game of the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League season which kicks off on Sunday.
Heartland has weathered rough storms in the past few months with myriad on-field and off-field problems often giving the impression of a rudderless club.
In February, they were handed a two-window transfer ban by the League Management Company for the “unlawful termination of contract and indebtedness” to two former players Maduabuchi Okereke and Fatunwase Alfred Olusegun.
The remaining players on the roster then had to endure a seven-month break in salary payments after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2019-2020 season.
Sources with knowledge of events at the club and the LMC told busybuddiesng.com that Heartland’s transfer ban has been rescinded after the club settled its dispute with the affected players with one of the players returning to the squad.
Additionally, a significant portion of players’ outstanding arrears has been offset with the rest set to be paid in the coming weeks.
With the reconstitution of the board, there appears a semblance of structure at the club once ruled by chaos and figures inside Heartland say the government has approved a substantial outlay for transfers to strengthen the squad ahead of the new season.
Those reinforcements are a necessity especially in defence and attack, Ilechukwu says, for what he believes will be a long and gruelling season for all twenty clubs.
“I think we may probably need to add one or two in defensive and offensive areas in our team,” Ilechukwu told busybuddiesng.com.
“We’re likely going to do that. You know why we need to do that, you know looking at the league situation [where we are likely to play] midweek, weekend, midweek weekend, you know there’s going to be fatigue, travelling and there might be injuries.
So, I think we need to do that because it’s going to do us good if we do that.”