Friendly could be Taiwan’s last match under White

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Sep 07, 2018 - Page 16

Taiwan are to take on Malaysia in an international friendly at Taipei Municipal Stadium today at 7pm that could be the farewell game for men’s soccer head coach Gary White.

White was listed as a consultant for Taiwan’s under-23 team at the Asian Games in Indonesia, and media have reported that the Englishman, whose one-year contract expires this month, is to be named Hong Kong’s head coach.

Under his guidance, Taiwan’s national squad has a winning record at home of six victories in friendly and competitive matches.

“We have recalled key players for the best lineup for this match,” White said at a news conference yesterday.

“The players have done well in training, so we expect the team to perform well for the fans,” he added.

The team has been bolstered by players who ply their trade overseas, including captain Chen Po-liang, Wen Chih-hao, striker Chen Hao-wei, Turkish-born naturalized citizen Onur Dogan and English-Taiwanese youngster Will Donkin, who is a youth member of English Premier League side Crystal Palace, he said.

“Will Donkin has great potential, as he is only 17 and has already played 10 games for Taiwan. He represents the future for the national squad and he will be a big star for Taiwan,” White said, adding that Donkin had scored and recorded an assist in a recent outing against Chelsea’s youth team.

Malaysia head coach Tan Cheng Hoe said that “it will not be easy to defeat [Taiwan] this time, because we have seen that this team has improved quite a lot under White at several competitions over the past year.”

“Of course, we are also well-prepared and will have a good game for the fans,” he added.

Asked about Taiwan’s players, Tan said he was impressed by Chen Po-liang and Chen Hao-wei, as well as an outstanding display by goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh in Asian qualifiers, “so it will not be easy to beat this team, as they have many excellent players.”

Taiwan is a strong team and it would be a tough match, because they are playing at home, Malaysia captain Mohamad Abdul Razak said, but added that he and his teammates would give it their best and hope to win the away match.

Fans can purchase tickets at the stadium before the game, soccer official said, urging people to follow regulations on the display of banners, flags and other items.