By Chinatu Jon
Continued from the Part 1, Enyimba & Heartland: Brothers In Unfamiliar Waters
Unlike their neighbours and local rivals, Heartland FC, Enyimba FC have tasted relegation more than once as they struggled to make their mark in Nigerian football in their early days. They have also always been the property of the state government.
1999 was the turn around year for the people’s elephants. The next 16 years that ensued saw them surpass almost all records and win a record number of titles by any football club based in Nigeria.
During this 16-year period, fans of the club have been spoiled by these successes and anything less than a 6th place finish or a trophy-less season is deemed a failure and resultant, they feel Enyimba failed in the last season of the NPFL after enduring a very underwhelming season. Finishing 10th and playing away from home all season.
This season, commencing on Saturday, Enyimba will continue to manage the unfamiliar territory of Calabar after Port Harcourt seemed like a failed project, away from the inspiring and frenzy atmosphere of the Aba Stadium created by the teeming Aba fans.
U. J. Esuene Stadium, which will be the adopted home of Enyimba as the unending rehabilitation of their Stadium continues, has enough history that matches Enyimba’s pedigree and we believe that any team can win anywhere. We hope that the 7-time champions will return to Aba on time for the viewing pleasure of the followers of the Nigeria Professional Football League as well as return to their height as we have come to know since 1999.