From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Owerri, April 7, (Newshour.com.ng) – It was a clapping galore with songs of praises at Dan Anyiam International Stadium Owerri on Thursday when Hon. Emeka Okoronkwo, the Imo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports announced to the management, players, supporter’s club members and technical crew of Heartland FC that the State government have paid up to date all the salaries, bonuses and allowances accrued to the team within the 2023 football season.
Okoronkwo who was at the stadium to witness their training session with litany of sports administrators in the State reminded them that, he was appointed Commissioner last December, and since then, he has ensured that their welfare is given absolute priority as they voyaged into the uncompromising mission of Operation Return Heartland Back To Premiership.
According to him” your 3 months salary arrears have been cleared as of today and, you are not owed any match bonus. We even paid you, full bonus when you got away draw at Uyo. We are even willing to pay you now, your next match bonus for your match this Saturday with FC Edel, Awka, if you can guarantee me victory”.
The Commissioner who showered tremendous love to the team with mouth watering personal cash donations to the players, technical crew and management, congratulated them for their persistent winning strides and canvassed the need for discipline and unity of purpose.
Okoronkwo said that”on behalf of the State Government led by Governor Hope Uzodimma, I want to congratulate the entire team for so far making the State proud. Remember, we have a mission and a vision , which the mantra is Operation Bring Back Heartland FC Into Nigerian Premiership.
“Heartland is the only football club that’s so dear to every Imo Sports lover even South East and beyond. Am here to thank you greatly for the good matches you have so far played and to encourage you for more results. As you continued getting good results, you will definitely see more Imolites coming to show you love. Imo people are highly appreciative and hospitable especially when you are doing well. Don’t forget this is your career that entails commitment, discipline and dedication.
“It’s our wishes and desire, seeing you playing in the national team and other continental premiership football clubs. We want to watch you, the way we are watching great footballers in Africa, Europe, Asia and entire globe.
“The obvious truth is that most of the great footballers are phasing out and the entire world is in dare need of replacement and most of you have the potentials for the expected exploding exploits. All you need is determination. They don’t have better opportunities and skills than any of you. This should be there fundamental mindsets of being in Heartland FC.
“Heartland is just the instrument to prepare and expose them into replacing most of the phasing out football legends. One thing I know, is that you people can do it because you have the potentials and the opportunities, thus why, the Club is also hooked to U – Tube to further expose the players potentials and exploits. My prayers, is that, before next season, at least 10 of you will be signing for international contracts and others will follow subsequently. We’re committed in preparing the players for international exposures, thus why you must, put efforts to all you are doing here. Be rest assured that Governor Uzodimma is committed in ensuring that you all are happy so far the team exhibits discipline and persistence in getting good results”.
Responding, Mr. Promise Nwachukwu, Heartland FC General Manager thanked the Commissioner for his patriotism towards the team and assured him of an unflinching support and appreciation by winning their games.
Nwachukwu informed that the management and technical crew were in one page in the recruitment of quality players who are disciplined and dedicated.
Adding his voice, Mr. Nnaemeka Anyanwu, the Captain of the Team expressed gratitude for the Commissioner’s visit while soliciting for the visit to be regular just as he gave pass marks to the technical crew and the management.
Anyanwu reiterated there Chief Coach stand that they are going to Awka on a Suicide Mission pleaded for the payment of their last season outstandings as well as improvement of facilities at their MCC Road camp.
Speaking also Barr. Ifeanyi Dike (Fela), the Vice Chairman, Imo State FA confirmed that the team is highly disciplined and have unity of purpose while enjoining them to maintain same.
Dike pointed out that Heartland FC is a legacy project of the State Government and must be given priority attention.
Others who were in the entourage and equally spoke are Hon.Emma Ochiagha, Special Adviser to Government of Imo State on Heartland Affairs, Mr. Ferdinand Emeana, the State Director of Sports, Hon. Anthony Ajaelu, one time Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Imo State.
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