Lengkat Issa made his debut for Heartland FC on Wednesday after completing a loan move from Jigawa Golden Stars on Friday.
Issa joined the squad on Saturday, but missed the game against Abia Warriors because his necessary paperwork weren’t cleared on time by his Parent club.
He had recently joined the newly promoted side in the summer from Plateau United, where he won the league title in 2016.
His transfer to the modest side was bold and at the time an attempt to take on new challenges and add verve to a young team.
However, Jigawa GS didn’t get off to the start they’d hoped for despite the investment in experience NPFL players, and i was due to a combination of factors.
Hovering just above the drop zone, the club had resisted the lure to allow it’s most experienced player leave when Heartland came calling.
“Officially, I joined Heartland football club on Friday and it’s a loan deal till end of the season.
“I couldn’t start training with my new team because Jigawa delayed my paper’s until the eve of the weekend games.
“It was a tough decision for the club because they really didn’t want me to leave,” Issa told brila.net.
Heartland FC head Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu on his part was dealing with a squad hit with a long list of injury concerns and the team struggled to stay consistent as the fixtures rolled in.
Having only joined the team himself in the summer, Ilechukwu came in highly rated for his work with MFM FC, who operated a shoe string budget in the four seasons he Managed the team in the top flight.
Thus, the opportunity availed him following the switch were immense.
Firstly, He had resources at his disposal a major boost from his old job. Also, the pedigree of the team, who are five-time league champions, was good pressure for one of the brightest young Coaches in the Country.
However, there was the immediate problem of of finding veterans in the league to bolster this ailing Heartland side and all fingers pointed to a struggling club, that could let a few high-salary earning players leave, even if on loan.
Lengkat Issa is settling into in his new environment, and to ease that acclimatization – which Ilechukwu has harped on in the recently – the Midfielder was issued his favorite number 30 jersey.
He recounts his past duels with MFM FC and Ilechukwu, but is confident together they can both achieve something special with the Naze Millionaire.
“I did play against him when he was with MFM FC and also earlier in the season when he joined Heartland.
“It was never a bad experience playing against him, and I imagine it will be great to do so for him, that’s football. And I promise to give it my all for him.”
A promise he has started to show he would keep, when he was called up and handed a starter’s place against Enyimba in an Oriental Derby in Aba on Wednesday.
Issa played the entire duration as Heartland stunned their host, who in truth, have been poor domestically this season.
The game finished 2-0 and it saw the club climbed to 9th in the table after 15 round of matches in the league.
“No doubt there is high expectation from me,” Issa said.
“I believe they’ve seen potential in me such that could make them expect more. On my part, I won’t relent till such is achieved by God’s grace.”
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