Gary White - An English Coach in Taiwan

East Asian football is littered with players from around the world at the top end. We hear about the big names in China in the press but about not too much else. However here is a look at a British coach improving football now for Taiwan. 

A look now at Gary White the now manager of Taiwan but previously of the Guam national side. How did a man who played way down the football league system in England and down the league’s in Australia manage to turn these small island sides around? 

Despite White's uninspiring footballing career, it is clear to anyone who has seen his teams play or have heard him speak he knows his football. This is seen with the fact that previous to his roles as head coaches of a few sides he was technical director of Washington Youth Soccer, this followed to him being on the coaching staff for the US national side. 

From these roles as a coach, he went on to manage the British Virgin Islands for a year before moving on to manage the Bahamas national side from 1999-2008. When in this role he moved the country 55 places in the FIFA world rankings and in fact in 2006 the Bahamas where the highest movers in the FIFA world rankings. From here he went on to manage Guam where he had a similar effect on the national side getting them to their highest ever ranking and in 2014 they finished third in the AFC Challenge Cup qualification for the first time in their history. 

After a short spell in China where he saved Shanghai Shenxin from relegation in his brief spell. He has now found himself in Taiwan where he became head coach of the national side in September 2017. 

His first few months in Taiwan have already been a success as he finds the country in their highest ever FIFA world ranking, a trend Gary White seems to like to keep going. The most impressive element to his short tenure so far is after a 5-0 reverse to Bahrain before his arrival he oversaw a 2-1 victory to them in the most dramatic of fashions with the two goals coming in the 90th and 92nd minute.  

Gary White has also been chosen along with 16 other coaches to take part in the development licence programme (The FA Level 5 Pro Licence) this is a two-year course in England and would be considered a higher qualification to the UEFA A licence. The course is being run by the English FA in an attempt to have more top-level coaches in England is currently the number is very low. The fact he was picked for this just shows how highly rated he is and Taiwan am sure will enjoy him while they can. 

Gary White is a great example of a European coach making such a positive impact on football in East Asia but there are other examples. A very strange example of this is Andrew McNeil a former Scottish League Cup winner is the goalkeeping coach at Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese Super League. As we talked about also back in October there are English coaches in Mongolia trying to help improve the game. 

It would seem where some find it hard to attempt the game in East Asia it can work for English coaches and give them a platform to perform with not the same pressure to succeed as they maybe would have at home. Will, we one day see coaches make a name in East Asia and then come back to British football better coaches able to coach at a high level? Am unsure if this will be the case but it is very positive that these coaches are able to bring their footballing knowledge to a whole new culture and really make an impact. 

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