Heartland F.C.

Heartland FC
Full name Heartland Football Club
Nickname(s) Spartans, Naze Millionaires, Hearts
Founded 1976
Ground Dan Anyiam Stadium
Owerri, Imo, Nigeria
Ground Capacity 10,000
Chairman Ibeh Okechukwu[1]
Manager Erasmus Onuh
League Nigeria Premier League
2016 18th (relegated)

Heartland FC (formerly known as Iwuanyanwu Nationale 1985–06) is a Nigerian football club based in Owerri. They play their home games at Dan Anyiam Stadium. Until their 17th place showing in 2016, they were one of two teams in the top flight that had never been relegated.


Originally founded as Spartans FC, they won the Nigerian championship three years running from 1988–90. . Their first international (friendly) match was against Ararat Yerevan of the USSR which Spartans won 2–0 at the Township Stadium, Tetlow Road, Owerri, in August 1976.[2]


November 1985: Spartans FC renamed Iwuanyanwu Nationale FC following a successful change of ownership from Imo State Government to chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.

January 1986: Iwuanyanwu Nationale embark on a 3-week training tour of Brazil. The club finished runner-up of Nigerian top league.

1987: Iwuanyanwu Nationale emerge League runners-up behind Leventis United on goal difference. But they later got the ticket to represent Nigeria in CAF Champions Cup following the disbandment of Leventis United.

1988: Iwuanyanwu Nationale repeat as League champions as well as winning Nigerian FA Cup for first time, beating Flash Flamingoes of Benin in cup final 3–0. Reach CAF Champions Cup final, winning 1–0 in first leg tie in Ibadan, losing 4–0 in Constantine, Algeria in return leg versus Entente Setif.

1989: Retain League title but lost FA Cup following 0–1 loss in final to BCC Lions.

1990: Iwuanyanwu Nationale beat Stationery Stores of Lagos in Lagos in professional League's commemorative game 2–1. Nationale went on to emerge first pro league winners in Nigeria.

1991: Nationale lose League title to Julius Berger, crash out of CAF Champions Cup to Nakivubo of Uganda in semi-final.

1993: Club regain League title following a 2–0 away victory over El-Kanemi Warriors in last league fixture to edge out Bendel Insurance to the title race.

1994: Reach champions cup quarter-final. Lose 3–0 to Espérance de Tunis of Tunisia in first leg tie, September 18. Aboard a chartered Oriental Airline, the team suffered an aircrash at Tamanrasset, Southern Algeria same night. Two players, defender Aimola Omale and goalkeeper Uche Ikeogu lost their lives.

CAF consequently shifted the return leg match in Owerri from October 3, to October 10. Nationale crashed out following a 1–1 draw in the return leg match.

1999: Emerged regular League champions but lost title to Lobi Stars of Makurdi in the inaugural Super League play-off.

2005: Finished third in Premier League and also in the Coca-Cola FA Cup with coach Stanley Eguma in charge.

2006: Imo State Government re-acquire ownership of the club on February 7 from chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, renaming it Heartland FC.[2]

2008: Finished second in Premier League by one point to Kano Pillars, earned a Champions League slot.

2009: Finished second in the 2009 CAF Champions League, losing to away goals to TP Mazembe after tying 2–2 on aggregate.


1988, 1989, 1990, 1993.
1988, 2011, 2012.
2011, 2012.

Performance in CAF competitions

1988 Finalist
1989 – Second Round
1990 – Semi-finals
1991 – Semi-finals
1994 – Quarter-finals
2009 Finalist
2010 – Group Stage

2000 – Semi-finals
2006 – Group Stage
2012 – Second Round
2013 – First Round

Current squad

As of March 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Nigeria GK David Obiazo
2 Nigeria Wale Doyeni
4 Mali DF Zoumane Doumbia
5 Nigeria Ebere Odiche
6 Ivory Coast Roland Koffi
7 Nigeria MF John Ibe
8 Nigeria FW Bright Ejike
9 Nigeria FW Emeka Ogbu
10 Nigeria Fred Okwara
11 Nigeria FW Macmarcel Obioha
12 Nigeria Collins Nwaneri
13 Togo FW Saibou Badarou
14 Nigeria DF Orji Okagbue
15 Nigeria MF Okoli Mobi
16 Nigeria Joseph Iniobong
17 Nigeria DF Ojiaka Talent Chinedu
18 Nigeria Babangida Hassan
No. Position Player
19 Nigeria Emeka Oparaugo
20 Nigeria Nelson Ogbonnaya
21 Nigeria FW Julius Ubido
22 Nigeria Chidiebere Ajoku
23 Nigeria Uchenna Orisakwe
24 Nigeria DF Chinedu Efugh (Captain)
25 Nigeria Jimoh Oni
26 Nigeria GK Emmanuel Iwu
- Nigeria GK Ebele Obi
- Nigeria DF Onyebuchi Onyechefula
- Nigeria DF Stanley Ekene Aniemenam
- Nigeria DF Anthony Iriegbu
- Nigeria MF Eddy Ongolo
- Mali MF Keita Koman
- Nigeria MF David Tyavkase
- Nigeria MF Hassan Yau
- Nigeria FW Happy Okuoka

Coaching staff

Former coaches


  1. http://www.goal.com/en-ng/news/4065/africa/2014/05/15/4820306/heartland-chairman-fan-ndubuoke-sacked?ICID=AR_RS_2
  2. 1 2 http://www.nigeriansportsonline.com/home.php?Show=ShowLink&LinkId=4&A=10

External links

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