Heartland F.C

Arena/Stadium: Okigwe Township Stadium

Owners – N/A

Chairman: Charles Ezekwem

Manager: Fidelis Ilechukwu

Nickname(s): Soccer Scientists, Spartans, Naze Millionaires, The Hearts

Founded: 1976

 History
Season League Rank Played Points W/D/L Goals Players
2017/2018 NPFL 20 24 20 8/10/6 20:16
2018/2019 NPFL GROUP B 6 22 31 9/4/9 25:22
2019/2020 NPFL 13 25 32 9/5/11 21:21

Heartland could perhaps be the only Nigerian club side that has had two name changes but never legally permanently changed ownership. Founded as Spartans FC of Owerri in 1976 by the then newly created Imo State, it became Iwuanyanwu Nationale in 1985 and was returned to Imo State in 2006 by businessman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu who funded it for 20 years.

The club shares history of formation with two other prominent Southeast clubs, Rangers International and Enyimba International, all of whose formation was superintended by Chief Jeremiah Enyeazu, a former Director of Sports in the Old East Central State and Imo State.

At inception, Spartans FC was made up largely of the Imo State National Sports Festival team dubbed Trojans that won the gold medal of the football event of the 1977 National Sports Festival hosted by Kaduna. After several years of moderate performances, Spartans FC became a force to reckon with in National football from 1979 when it finished second in the National League qualified and followed through with another impressive run in 1981 but narrowly missing the National division one league title on the final day to regional rivals, Rangers International.

That feat was sufficient for them to represent Nigeria in the WAFU Club Cup in 1982 and they went all the way to the final but were edged 1-0 on aggregate by Secondi Hasacas of Ghana. Three years after the impressive WAFU outing, Spartans FC experienced funds paucity and an undertstanding was reached with Philanthropist and businessman, Iwuanyanwu who accepted to take over the club and in 1985 he renamed it Iwuanyanwu Nationale. His takeover attracted national media attention when he sent 42 players and eight officials to Brazil in January 1986 on three weeks training tour.

They would place second in the 1986 season and from 1987-1990, captured the Nigeria league crown including the inaugural edition of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). It was also the period the media nicknamed the club, the Naze Millionaires and they went on to add to their laurels another league title in 1993.The Owerri side also have in its trophy cabinet, five FA Cup titles won as Iwuanyanwu Nationale three times and twice as Heartland FC in 2011 and 2012.

Heartland as the club is known today may not have had an illustrious run as its predecessor but It also has enjoyed some performances of note such as the second place finish in the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons behind Kano Pillars and Bayelsa United respectively.

Heartland also won Federation Cup back to back in 2011 and 2012 at the expense of Enyimba and Lobi Stars Heartland suffered a major setback, the first in its history across the three names when in the 2016 Nigeria Professional Football League season, it finished on the 18th position and relegated to theNigeria National League. However, it regained a place in the NPFL the next season and hasretained the spot As Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Heartland flourished and made marks on the continent, though failing to win any major continental title.

It reached the CAF Champions Cup finals in 1988 but lost to Entente Setif of Algeria 4-1 on aggregate. In1990 and 1991, they were eliminatedat the semi-final stage by Nkana Red Devils of Zambia and SC Villa of Uganda respectively. Following their 5th league title success in 1993, Heartland were back on the continent and this timewith the season’s top marksman, Tony Nwaigwe and then youngster Nwankwo Kanu who would inyears ahead win the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Olympics gold medal. In the course of their campaign for the Africa Club Cup championship, the team was involved in a plane crash near Tamaransett, Algeria before eventually getting knocked out by Esperence of Tunisia. After many years absence on the continent, Heartland were back in 2000 but lost in the semi-final to eventual Champions, JS Kabylie of Algeria.

Nine years after that, the club was to reach another finals, beating another Nigerian side, Kano Pillars 5-0 aggregate before losing to TP Mazembe in the finals on away goals rule. In 2010, Heartland could only muster a group stage finish in the CAF Champions League.

Heartland played in the 2011 and 2012 editions of the CAF Confederation Cup but were on both occasions eliminated at the preliminary stages including a walk-over by US Bitam of Gabon in 2013 due to travel booking lapses that saw them arriving late at the match venue. It will take a whole book to list important players who have been fielded by Heartland but the most prominent include former Super Eagles captain, Uche Okechukwu, Kanu, Ben Iroha, late Thompson Oliha and winger, Friday Elaho. There are also Mobi Oparaku, Friday Ekpo, Etim Esin, Edward Ansah and most recently, Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

2017/2018 NPFL League Table

PosClubPWDLFAGDPts
12413472516943
224125727171041
324911430171338
42491142316738
52411492720737
62411492123-237
724113102822636
82481062016434
9249782222034
10248971915433
1124103112224-230
122492132629-329
132485111721-429
142485112126-529
15247892128-729
162485111623-729
172477102326-328
18248792227-528
192484122030-1028
202458111527-1220

2018/2019 NPFL League Table Group B

PosClubPWDLFAGDPts
12211563224838
22211472819937
32211381818036
42210393028233
5229492520531
6229492522331
7229491926-731
8227961814430
9228681919030
102293102125-430
11227691623-727
122243151124-1315

2019/2020 NPFL League Table

PosClubPWDLFAGDPts
125147436152149
225136628151345
32512762619743
42410772520537
520113630201036
62581162322135
72481062718934
82681082626034
9259792729-234
10249781825-734
11249692523233
1225103122528-333
132595112121032
142587101919031
152587102324-131
162586112328-530
172585122727029
182592142535-1029
192584132333-1028
202562171747-3020

2020/2021 NPFL League Table

PosClubPWDLFAGDPts
1381914553242971
238181284133866
3381981148282065
4382051355381765
538197123829964
6381891148361263
7381881243311262
838177144339458
9381491545351051
10381312133435-151
1138155183747-1050
1238147173542-749
1338139164350-748
14381211154842647
1538129174047-745
16381112152839-1145
17381110172946-1743
1838118193045-1541
1938912173350-1739
2038510232055-3525

Fixtures

Results

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kwara United F.C

2 - 1
Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna.

Niger Tornadoes v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Sunshine Stars F.C

0 - 0
Enyimba International Stadium

Enyimba v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Katsina United

2 - 1
Aper Aku Stadium

Lobi Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Akwa United

3 - 2
Pantami Stadium, Gombe

Gombe United F.C. v Heartland F.C

3 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Shooting Stars 3S.C

3 - 1
Sani Abacha Stadium

Kano Pillars F.C v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rivers United

3 - 1
Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium

Rangers Intl v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Abia Warriors

0 - 0
Pantami Stadium, Gombe

Wikki Tourist F.C. v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Plateau United

2 - 1
Nest of Champions, Uyo

Dakkada F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Remo Stars F.C

2 - 0
Lafia Township Stadium

Nasarawa United F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Agege Stadium, Lagos

MFM F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v MFM F.C

2 - 1
Kwara Sports Stadium, Ilorin

Kwara United F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Niger Tornadoes

3 - 1
Akure Township Stadium

Sunshine Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Enyimba

1 - 1
Muhammadu Dikko Stadium

Katsina United v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Lobi Stars F.C

0 - 0
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium

Akwa United v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Gombe United F.C.

4 - 0

Shooting Stars 3S.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kano Pillars F.C

3 - 1
Yakubu Gowon Stadium

Rivers United v Heartland F.C

0 - 3
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rangers Intl

1 - 0
Enyimba International Stadium

Abia Warriors v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Wikki Tourist F.C.

3 - 0
New Jos Stadium, Jos

Plateau United v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Dakkada F.C

3 - 0
Osogbo Township Stadium

Remo Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

3 - 3
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Nasarawa United F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kano Pillars F.C

1 - 0
Warri Township Stadium

Warri Wolves FC v Heartland F.C

4 - 2
Pantami Stadium, Gombe

Wikki Tourist F.C. v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kwara United F.C

2 - 1
Enyimba International Stadium

Abia Warriors v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rangers Intl

1 - 0
Nest of Champions, Uyo

Dakkada F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Sunshine Stars F.C

3 - 0
Aper Aku Stadium

Lobi Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v MFM F.C

2 - 1
FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium

FC Ifeanyi Ubah v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Jigawa Golden Stars

3 - 1
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium

Akwa United v Heartland F.C

2 - 2
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rivers United

0 - 0
Enyimba International Stadium

Enyimba v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Plateau United

3 - 1
Lafia Township Stadium

Nasarawa United F.C v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Katsina United

0 - 1
Pantanmi Stadium, Gombe

Adamawa United v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Adamawa United

2 - 1
Sani Abacha Stadium

Kano Pillars F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Warri Wolves FC

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Wikki Tourist F.C.

0 - 0
Kwara Sports Stadium, Ilorin

Kwara United F.C v Heartland F.C

2 - 2
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Abia Warriors

2 - 0
Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium

Rangers Intl v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Dakkada F.C

1 - 1
Akure Township Stadium

Sunshine Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Lobi Stars F.C

1 - 2
Agege Stadium, Lagos

MFM F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v FC Ifeanyi Ubah

2 - 1
Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna

Jigawa Golden Stars v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Akwa United

3 - 1
Yakubu Gowon Stadium

Rivers United v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Enyimba

3 - 0
New Jos Stadium, Jos

Plateau United v Heartland F.C

1 - 2
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Nasarawa United F.C

3 - 2
Muhammadu Dikko Stadium

Katsina United v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Sani Abacha Stadium

Jigawa Golden Stars v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Lobi Stars F.C

1 - 0
Nest of Champions, Uyo

Dakkada F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 2
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rivers United

0 - 0
Agege Stadium, Lagos

MFM F.C v Heartland F.C

5 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Adamawa United

1 - 0
Pantanmi Stadium, Gombe

Adamawa United v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Sunshine Stars F.C

3 - 1
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium

Akwa United v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Katsina United

0 - 2
Enyimba International Stadium

Enyimba v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Abia Warriors

1 - 0
Warri Township Stadium

Warri Wolves FC v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rangers Intl

1 - 0
FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium

FC Ifeanyi Ubah v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Lafia Township Stadium

Nasarawa United F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kano Pillars F.C

0 - 1
Kwara Sports Stadium, Ilorin

Kwara United F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Plateau United

1 - 0
Pantami Stadium, Gombe

Wikki Tourist F.C. v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Jigawa Golden Stars

3 - 0
Aper Aku Stadium

Lobi Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Dakkada F.C

1 - 1
Yakubu Gowon Stadium

Rivers United v Heartland F.C

0 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v MFM F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v El-Kanemi

1 - 0
Pantami Stadium, Gombe

Gombe United F.C. v Heartland F.C

1 - 2
FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium

FC Ifeanyi Ubah v Heartland F.C

2 - 4
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Abia Warriors

0 - 0
Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba

Delta Force v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Yobe Desert Stars F.C

2 - 1
Krisdera Hotel Stadium

GO Round F.C v Heartland F.C

3 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Nasarawa United F.C

0 - 0
New Jos Stadium, Jos

Plateau United v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kano Pillars F.C

1 - 0
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium

Akwa United v Heartland F.C

1 - 2
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Akwa United

2 - 0
El-Kanemi Sports Stadium, Maiduguri

El-Kanemi v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Gombe United F.C.

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v FC Ifeanyi Ubah

1 - 0
Umuahia Township Stadium

Abia Warriors v Heartland F.C

3 - 2
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kada City FC

1 - 0
Bako Kontagora Stadium

Yobe Desert Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v GO Round F.C

0 - 1
Lafia Township Stadium

Nasarawa United F.C v Heartland F.C

3 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Plateau United

1 - 0
Sani Abacha Stadium

Kano Pillars F.C v Heartland F.C

Postponed
Pokistum Township Stadium, Potiskum

Yobe Desert Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Enyimba

1 - 0
Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium

Rangers Intl v Heartland F.C.

1 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v GO Round F.C

2 - 1
Akure Township Stadium

Sunshine Stars F.C v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kano Pillars F.C

2 - 0
Sani Abacha Stadium

Kano Pillars v Heartland F.C

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Plateau United

3 - 0
El-Kanemi Sports Stadium, Maiduguri

El-Kanemi v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Abia Warriors

2 - 0
Yakubu Gowon Stadium

Rivers United F.C. v Heartland F.C

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Nasarawa United

2 - 1
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium

Akwa United v Heartland F.C

1 - 0
Muhammadu Dikko Stadium

Katsina United v Heartland F.C

3 - 0
Agege Stadium, Lagos

MFM F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Lobi Stars

2 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Wikki Tourist

2 - 0
FC Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium

IfeanyiUba v Heartland F.C

1 - 2
Confluence Stadium, Lokoja

Niger Tornadoes v Heartland F.C

2 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Kwara UTD

1 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Yobe Stars F.C

1 - 1
Krisdera Hotel Stadium

GO Round F.C v Heartland F.C

0 - 1
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C v Rangers Intl F.C

0 - 0

Enyimba v Heartland F.C

0 - 0
Okigwe Township stadium

Heartland F.C vs Sunshine Stars

Leagues
Nigeria Professional Football League
Seasons
NPFL 2017/2018, NPFL 2018/2019 GROUP B, NPFL 2018/2019, NPFL 2019/2020, NPFL 2020/2021, NPFL 2021/2022
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