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Women Football : Nigeria’ Heartland Queens Rounds off Impressive Preseason Test Games

New look Heartland Queens have rounded up on an impressive note their first two major preseasons against the 2023 Federation Cup holders and third best in Africa, Bayelsa Queens and Edo Queens.

The first encounter to the Prosperity Girls on Friday at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa ended with two unanswered goals in favour of the homers while the second one to Edo Queens on Saturday at the Western Boys High School, Benin City ended one goal apiece to both sides.

Rose Ekong and Zainab Olapade were the scorers for the Yenagoa side in the first clash while bullish forward, Chinedu Gift Chinaka and Josephine Mathias scored for the Owerri Landladies and the Obaseki Girls in the second matchup in Benin City.

Despite the mixed fortunes in the outcome, Heartland Queens showed class and doggedness to earn victory against the sides that still hold upper hands in all competitions against the Owerri side.

The high profile preseasons are part of Heartland Queens’ build-ups for the upcoming 2023/2024 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership season.

And more high profiles are in queue as the technical crew continues the massive build-ups and carefully detailed recruitment programme aimed at giving the side a head start and podium contest in the upcoming season.

Recall that the Owerri side earned the podium in the maiden 2023 South East Women Football Association (SEWFA) tournament in Owerri, Imo state attended by over 12 quality teams.

The side’s technical crew headed by coach Obi Ogbala is leaving no stone unturned towards the realisation of the marching order and mandate of NWFL Premiership Super 6 ticket in the coming season from the ever supportive state government under the able leadership of Dist. Sen. Hope Uzodinma and workaholic Sports Commissioner, Hon. Emeka Okoronkwo with the no nonsense approach to the ongoing season’s build-ups.

Somehow unnerved with the loss at Bayelsa Queens and draw at Edo Queens, the soft-spoken tactician opined that the preseasons met his programme’s target though he would have wanted victories in the matches to further build confidence in his wards considering the fact that he has been playing the second fiddle to the opponents.

“The matches are what they are – preseasons and against familiar foes who have shown dominance over us in past meetings.

“Despite the mixed outcome, I think we realised our aim in prosecuting the preseason’s programme.

“Although outright victory would have been welcomed, I’m pained with the two-goal loss at Bayelsa Queens.

“We played the side in home and away basis in the just concluded league season and it ended goalless in both legs.

“I was hoping that we have succeeded in breaking the existing dominance but again we were not disgraced, it was a good display by both sides.

“At Edo Queens we were almost coasting home with a revenge win before the last minute equaliser, I desperately wanted a win to avenge the humiliation we suffered in their hands in the second edition of Betsy Obaseki Women’s Football Tournament (BOWFT) at the turf of University of Benin.

“All the same, it was a good game and it equally met the aim as high profile preseason.

“The team is still a work in progress, we have noted our strengths and weaknesses, and we are going to work on them.

“We have new players, we have returnees, and I’m impressed with their blending and playing compatibility, we will get it perfectly right as we head towards the start of the season,” said Heartland Queens gaffer.

With the two topmost preseasons in the past right now, Heartland Queens are primed for more friendlies as the intense build-ups continue in earnest.


Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu

Oluchi Tobe-Chukwu popularly known as tobex is the Vice chairman of Sports writers Association of Nigeria , lagos Chapter. She Is also the Media Spokesperson of the Super Falcons of Nigeria. She is an award winning women's football writer. Tobex is also an ex footballer that was privileged to play in the first NFF organised women's league in 1990 as a player of Hamza Queens. Her last club as an active footballer was Ibom Angels as She paved way to further her education years ago. She is a Federal Government scholar , with a degree in Mass communication, a second degree in Public Relations and Advertising (Communication Studies). She is a Wife and Mother.

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