Taiwan Premier League - where are the clubs based

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As some of the team names may be a bit confusing with not having the city name in them, we have put together this guide for all the folk new to watching football in Taiwan, and we hope that it could help provide you with some support when it comes to picking a club. 

Taipower - Kaohsiung

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Taipower is one of the powerhouses of Taiwanese football as each season they're fighting for the championship until the end.

They are based out of the port city Kaohsiung, which is Taiwan's second city. In Kaohsiung, it is more common to hear the Taiwanese language spoken rather than Mandarin, and the city is a little less uptight than Taipei.

The people of Kaohsiung are more relaxed than their northern counterparts. And even though Taiwanese is commonly heard there, everyone still understands Mandarin, so if you can function in Mandarin you won't have any problems.

Taipower is one of the few teams in the league who often have a squad full of Taiwanese nationals.

Does that make them a club of Brexit Barrys, or a pioneer of the game supporting Taiwanese football by giving opportunities to locals? We will leave that judgement up to you when you come to the decision of which side you decide to support.

The name Taipower comes from representing the state electricity company, and the company's colours are green and white, therefore Taipower was green and white stripes although as you can see from above they are playing in red this season.

A fun fact about Taipower is, they always have one fan who goes to games with a megaphone hooked up to a massive speaker, he has a drum and four or five Taipower flags. He sings into the speaker all game long. It is unclear whether or not he goes because he is a fan or he is an employee of the company. No one actually knows and it is likely to forever be a mystery.

Taipower have one of the best Taiwanese players in their squad. Chen Yi-Wei. The scorer of the thunderbolt against Australia in World Cup Qualifying.

Hang Yuen - New Taipei City

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Hang Yuen started life as the Fujen University team, and have developed from there. Fujen University is based in New Taipei City, which surrounds Taipei City and their home matches take place in the suburb of Xinzhuang where the university is located.

Their key moment came when they became the only team in the Taiwanese league to manage to get an AFC Club License and therefore were eligible to play in the AFC Cup. This is Asia's equivalent to the Europa League, however, unlike the Europa League, the AFC Cup is really a development competition.

Due to being involved in the continental tournament, this helped Fujen University get sponsorship, in the name of Hang Yuen. I have searched to try and find what kind of company Hang Yuen is but have had no luck at all.

The first season in the AFC Cup they brought in a couple of Haitian players, and that seemed to go well, so the next season another Haitian arrived in the name of Benchy. Benchy went on to score 25 goals in 19 matches, making sure Hang Yuen got another 3rd place finish, something they have become accustomed to.

Benchy has since left the club and Hang Yuen have a new look, and a new logo, the manta ray.

This season they are focusing on local players (which suggests their funding was reduced). Consequently, they might unearth some good Taiwanese talents for the national side.

Without important players like Benchy, Hang Yuen could become quite an inconsistent team as they are relying on youth. Beat anyone on their day, but also capable of getting beating badly. If you like unpredictability then Hang Yuen could be for you. Saying that they have had a solid start to the season.

Taichung Futuro - Taichung

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Taichung Futuro is a Japanese owned side. The team is created by a football academy and consists of a whole host of Japanese players, backroom staff and manager.

The team as expected are based in Taichung, in central Taiwan. The club also has two prominent Taiwanese internationals, in captain Chen Ting-Yang and forward Li Mao.

It will be interesting to see how the big influx of Japanese nationals can intermingle their countries style of football. 

Will the experiment work? Japanese manager, Toshiaki Imai should have no problems with working in Taiwan and knowing all about the football landscape, after having two spells as Taiwan's national team manager. 

His football network could be one of the biggest key things that could benefit Futuro going forward. Taichung looks to be a club developing a good knowledge network, while slowly building a club identity. 

Taichung is an up and coming city, which is getting a reputation as being a bit cool, trendy and hip. It also has one of the best night markets in Taiwan. 

Taiwan Steel - Tainan

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Taiwan Steel, who was previously known as Tainan City in earlier seasons, until this season due to sponsorship, are a team based in the southern city of Tainan. Tainan is recognised as a cultural, and historical city of Taiwan due to being the former capital of Taiwan.

It is also identified as a food paradise, and the Taiwanese love going to Tainan to try all the food that is unique there, or that has been innovated there and eventually gets copied (normally poorly compared to the original) around other parts of Taiwan. 

Tainan City used to be the whipping boys in the league, finishing in or around the relegation spots most seasons. This season, with decent sponsorship, could prove to be a season-defining moment, although they suffered a big loss to Taipower, they will still be competing for the title come the end of the season. 

Tainan is a culture hub, and with new backing, Taiwan Steel (Tainan City) look like they're going to be determined to upset the apple cart dominance of Taipower and Tatung.

Tatung - Taipei

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Tatung is based in Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan. They are the most successful Taiwanese side, the current champions, and even though they lost a key player, they look like they will be in the title chase once again this season. 

Taipei is the financial hub of Taiwan and the most populated city on the island. They did lose a vital player Marc Fenelus to Taiwan Steel, but they still have an absolute beast of a striker in the form of the Ivorian Samuel Ange.

The strong midfielder has already plundered four goals this season in only two games and could power Tatung to another title. He looks like his style of play is highly based on Yaya Toure - word of advice to Tatung, make sure you buy this lad a bloody birthday cake, he looks like he will deserve it. 

Tatung have been champions for the last two or three seasons, and the team name comes from their backers, Tatung Electronics company. They are the biggest Taiwanese electronics company going, and everyone's home you go to in Taiwan will have at least one of their famous rice cookers. They may even have two or three. Subsequently, Tatung once sponsored Wolverhampton Wonders in the 80s.

Then along with Taipower and Taiwan Steel, they are strong favourites to win the title this year.

NTSU (National Taiwan Sports University) - Taoyuan

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NTSU short for National Taiwan Sports University is effectively one of the development teams, that the other well-funded clubs pillage and plunder to find their 'stars'. They are based in Taoyuan which could be best described as one of Taiwan's industrial cities. Famous for a lot of factories and industry as well as the airport that is used to get to Taipei.

Teams like NTSU will give chances to youngsters who are looking to play sport for a living, and the better players will often get picked up by the other clubs, and given a 'liveable' salary comparable to an office or factory job in Taiwan.

They offer an excellent platform for younger players as they will likely get regular game time playing here than they would in another team. Furthermore, they can complete their studies, and training is effectively around the school timetable, meaning there is no issue in regards to studying and playing football, while additionally getting yourself in the shop window if you standout. 

NTSU is unlikely ever going to compete at the top end of the Taiwan Premier League, but if you like an underdog team and a side who likes to utilise and develop youngsters then they are a club you could consider supporting.

Ming Chuan University - Taipei 

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Ming Chuan University is a team exactly the same as NTSU, they're a university team that is willing to give youngsters a chance but unlikely to ever trouble the top sides in the league.

The team is based in the Shilin district of Taipei City, where the university is located, and also the famous Shilin night market is very close by.

The side have been competing in the league easily for over a decade, but have spent the odd occasion where they have been relegated from the league, and had to wait to play the qualifiers again to get back in. Although this will not happen in future with the creation of a second division. 

Meanwhile, just like NTSU, they will always be an underdog because of the nature of the side. As with the funding coming from the university and not a private company. Again if you like an underdog, who plays in pink, then Ming Chuan is for you. 

Red Lions - Taipei 

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Red Lions were created as an ex-pat team and originally competed in a Taipei ex-pat league. They have since navigated the qualifiers in order to compete in the countries highest division. 

During the first season, they finished in the relegation spots and needed to play the playoffs to re-enter the league again this season. They again managed to successfully navigate the playoffs to find themselves back in Taiwan's top flight.

What started out as an all ex-pat side, now has the focus of developing Taiwanese players through their club's football academy and that is showing in the makeup of their side.

Red Lions are going to find the league tough for some time, but if they keep building then they could be one of the first success stories to go from an 'ex-pat team' to a solid Taiwan Premier League side if they stick to their guns and keep their focus. 

They are definitely still a work in progress and have found goals hard to come by in their first two matches, having lost 4-0 in both. They have a long way to go to become that solid team they can be, but they are definitely on the right path, despite the results, and the fighting through the playoffs each season, something which should become a thing of the past. 

If you're looking to support a team who are looking to become a mainstay of the Taiwan Premier League but began life as an ex-pat team, then you can not choose anyone else. 

*Photos: CTFA, Hang Yuen, Taichung Futuro, Taipower

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  1. Hello dear coaches my name is armelique I am the African player I'm looking for the football team I live in China in my country I was playing in first division and I'm the best striker and fast player I need to get chance if the is any one how want to talk to me my email is nahindoreraarmelique287@gmail.com

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