Nigeria Premier League: Why Heartland signed on Ndubuisi Nduka

Lodewijk de Kruif is unavailable at Heartland so former Plateau United coach, Ndubuisi Nduka has been appointed

Heartland FC of Owerri have revealed why they have installed former Plateau United coach, Ndubuisi Nduka, to take over as head coach of the team. Media Officer of the club, Cajetan Nkwopara said that they decided to act so as not to leave a vacuum in the coaching department.

"[Lodewijk de Kruif] Kruif travelled to sort out family issues and in order not to allow any vacuum, the club decided to announce Nduka as the head coach.

"This we have done to guide against any situation where there will be any problem in the technical department. But I can assure that there is no problem in the team as we are focussed on doing well in all the competitions we are taking part in," Nkwopara said.

Kruif who jetted out of the country  after last weekend’s CAF Confederation Cup tie against Congolese side AC Leopards had in a letter to the club management stated that he was taking a break to attend to some family problems.

He however stressed that he would return to Owerri in the near future after sorting out his problems back home.

The youthful Dutch tactician led Heartland to break its 18 year old trophy jinx when the club beat Enyimba to lift the 2011 Federation Cup.

Coach Nduka, who has previously done well with clubs like Plateau United, Dolphins and Sharks, has agreed personal terms with the Owerri-based side. The trio of Ramson Madu, Bob Acholonu and Christian Obi retain their positions as assistant coaches and Christian Chukwu stays on as technical consultant.

Heartland’s management further named former Golden Eaglets assistant coach Emman Osuigwe as coach of its U-20 team, even as Willy Udube steps in as coach of the club’s U-17 team.

Heartland last weekend laboured to a 3-2 home victory over Congolese side AC Leopards at the Dan Anyiam stadium in the Caf Confederation Cup. The return leg takes place in a fortnight in the South West city of Dolisie in Congo.