But from the standpoint of morale in the team, it was the best they could offer as reports indicate that there were no winning bonuses for the players.
The Stars, easily the pre-final favourites after a blistering start, stumbled to an unfancied Senegalese side who beat them 3-1 at the semi-final and in the end had to console themselves with a bronze medal after Jordan Opoku’s goal ensured a 1-0 victory for them.
But they posted a proud record in terms of haul, having scored 11 goals and conceding only three, with Bismark Idun, scoring four out of the total, whilst Samuel Affum scored three.
According to Coach Herbert Addo the Stars’ path to a dream final with sub-regional rivals, Nigeria, was thwarted by a combination of poor officiating by a Burkinabe referee and the sheer size of most of the opponents, with the Stars lacking the physique to challenge the Senegalese at that crucial stage.
“We had a lot of problems in the beginning after we were stunned by a first half goal by the Senegalese. We had to change our strategy in the second half to level the scores, but we were easily subdued by the big boys”, he told the media.
“But the hard lessons we have drawn from this particular tournament is that if we have to go places, then we need power or speed in the team.
“Our players are gifted but are very small in size, and the best option to concentrate on improving the speed of the players which, of course, will make me look at other players with the possibility of including them in the team.
“But beyond the technical deficiencies and the conspiracy of the Senegalese referee was the issue of bonuses which the Stars lacked compared to their opponents’, the coach noted.
Indeed attempts by the Graphic Sports to ascertain whether there was a reward system for the Stars proved futile.
However, Mr. Jordan Anagbla, Chairman of the Black Satelllites Management Committee, who led the U-20 team to win the 2009 edition of the tournamnet revealed that the team did not receive any bonus for their achievement, adding that “we did not receive any official welcome when they arrived”.
“This is because the WAFU is often considered a friendly tournament”, he said.