Sat, Feb 15, 2020 - Page 16 News List

Men’s national soccer team appoints Vom Ca-nhum as side’s new manager

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan has named Vom Ca-nhum (王家中) as manager of the men’s national soccer team, with the hope that his overseas experience will benefit the side in upcoming international matches as fans clamor for improved performances after last year’s disastrous results.

Vom, a former Taiwan youth coach, has been picked to lead Taiwan in the three remaining 2022 World Cup qualifiers, soccer officials announced on Thursday.

Vom replaces Englishman Louis Lancaster, who was sacked in December last year.

As one of the few in Taiwan with an AFC Pro A coaching license and with his many years coaching the nation’s youth teams, Vom is qualified for the job, officials said.

“Taking on this important job as national team manager means a lot to me,” Vom told reporters. “It is a great honor, but also a great responsibility. My first objective is to prepare the team for the World Cup qualifier against Nepal next month and the other matches in June, in which I want the players to show improvement and see results for all of their effort.”

“It will be a tough test, but I will lead the players to meet the challenges,” Vom added.

“As we are facing the Wuhan virus situation, so many things are yet undecided regarding away-site training and organizing friendlies with other countries,” he said.

The 55-year-old Vom, who in 2018 was briefly the team’s caretaker coach, was born to a Taiwanese father and East Timorese mother, and spent his childhood in East Timor, according to his bio from Taiwan’s soccer association.

War and upheaval brought the family to Taiwan, where Vom attended high school in Taipei’s Neihu District and excelled at soccer. He later moved to Kaohsiung to play.

As a top youth player, Vom said he dreamed of playing professionally in Europe, and he did try out for Crystal Palace, as well as clubs in Hong Kong and the Jeonnam Dragons pro club in South Korea.

Eventually returning to coach in Taiwan, Vom has had much success with youth and amateur teams, even leading a New Taipei City grade school to win a national title.

Vom was later selected to lead the national under-14, under-16 and under-19 teams, which built his skills at preparing youth players and organizing trips to foreign countries for Asia Football Confederation tournaments and qualifiers.

Last year, Vom made history as the first Taiwanese to coach a professional soccer club in China.

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