Newly unveiled head coach of Heartland FC, Fidelis Ilechukwu has told www.aclsports.com that he will be looking to produce a balanced equation of young and experienced players at the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club.
Ilechukwu was presented to the media on Monday by Imo State governor Emeka Ihedioha in Owerri and the former MFM coach expressed surprise at the kind of welcome he received in Owerri.
“I am very happy and surprised with the way they welcomed me. It was as if they have been waiting for me for a long time to arrive,” said Ikechukwu to www.aclsports.com
He also spoke about the new governor’s interest in the club.
“I asked about the governor very well before coming to this state to make sure I have his support and I was told that I don’t have any problem that he has a passion for this club so it is very good and important that he is interested.”
Ilechukwu’s 13-year association with Lagos club Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) FC was characterised by the unearthing of young and unknown footballing talents year after year.
At a club like Heartland with greater ambitions than the church club, Ilechukwu says he will be seeking to find a balance between parading experienced players and unearthing new ones.
“It is very possible (that I bring in new talents from the state) because I will not shift my idea of football because it is very important to give new players opportunities so I will start that gradually,” the national U23 team assistant coach posited.
“At the moment, we cannot sweep off the team and try to bring in young players so we must be able to balance the equation.
“Heartland have a lot of players on ground and I don’t want to frighten the existing players away from the team.
“I just want to work a little and later if I see there is anything we can do with young players. But the most important thing is to look at what we have on the ground and use them to make sure we succeed,” he summed.