In one of Gary White’s many interviews before the start of the Hero Intercontinental cup, he stated that Indian clubs should be taking a look at Taiwanese players. Clearly aimed at getting Indian clubs to focus on the potential untapped talent pool in Taiwan is great because Taiwan’s domestic league is very much a league which is still trying to develop. Therefore the level of competition currently experienced by players in the Taiwan Premier League compared to their Indian, Kiwi, and Kenyan counterparts is probably the lowest among the nations competing in India if domestic leagues were compared and contrasted.
The CTFA are pushing football the most I have ever seen since moving to Taiwan, and are currently trying to develop the game in the country, while concurrently raising the overall standard of Taiwanese players. However, development is a long-winded process that takes a lot of time and patience to bear fruit and show the positive results of endless hours of hard work, devotion and effort put into it. Bluntly speaking Gary White won’t be here when we see the positive results of the players he will have developed.
Other than Taiwan developing their own players, the next best option is to try and help players performing well in the Taiwan Premier League to move abroad to other Asian countries where the level is higher and the league is more competitive. Look at the level reached by the likes of Chen Po-Liang and Chen Hao-Wei by playing in China. When the national team plays, these two stand out as key players and it is no coincidence that both have experience of playing outside of Taiwan. Gary White and his coaches obviously understand this and that is why they tried to bring it to the focus in some of their media work for the tournament in India.
However, Taiwan didn’t perform in the first game against hosts India, losing 5-0 to a Sunil Chetri inspired side. They’ll be focused on re-grouping and working hard to prepare for the second game against New Zealand if any of these young players are going to impress foreign clubs in this tournament they will need to show excellent character to bounce back from a defeat like that and perform in their last two matches. This generation of Taiwanese players coming into the team now have a great chance to be the generation that really drags football into becoming a mainstream sport in Taiwan, let’s hope they grasp the chance to do so.