DESPITE finishing as cellar dwellers in the 2009-10 Telikom National Soccer League (NSL) challenge, Besta PNG United should hold their heads high.
Besta PNG United, comprising U20 players, who were selected during the U20 championships in Lae, Morobe province, were impressive against some of the well-established clubs in the NSL competition this season.
They wound up the season with their last game against Eastern Star FC at the Lloyd Robson Oval when they went down 5-2.
However, Besta PNG United coach Matthew Witu spoke highly of the performance of the boys throughout the season.
Witu, who was the former coach for the defunct Welgris Highlanders FC, said it was quite a challenge selecting a side to compete in the National Soccer League.
He said the boys had caused some surprises in the competition with wins against more established franchise clubs.
Witu added that if the boys did not beat some of the teams, they scored against them and it was important for them.
It was not all smooth sailing through the season after some of the boys in the original side had to return to school leaving a gap to fill in for the rest of the season.
Also, in the middle of the season, Besta PNG United lost one of their goalkeeper Fenney Bonki, who was hit by a vehicle in a road accident.
But, the boys had to put the loss of their colleague behind them and focus on the season ahead.
Commenting on the game against Eastern Star FC, Witu said the boys had their chances but did not put them away.
“The boys gave their best and, hopefully, we will do better.
“We will learn from our mistakes and come back a well-prepared and improved side next season,” Witu said.
He also thanked the PNG Football Association (PNGFA) and National Soccer League (NSL) for coming up with an incentive to have a PNG U20 side competing in the semi-professional soccer league competition.
He also thanked the boys for their hard work throughout the season.
“I have a good team. I hope they will stick together and keep competing next season.
“It is also good to watch them play,” Witu said.
Witu would also like to acknowledge the support of sponsors, International Food Corporation (IFC) through their tinned fish brand Besta and the team management.