Taipei City FC to face Deaflympic champions

Six-time gold medalists Great Britain challenge local side to friendly

Taipei City FC to face Deaflympic champions

Taipei City FC to face Deaflympic champions

It promises to be an exciting blend of old meets new as fledgling ex-pat team Taipei City FC hosts six-time Deaf Olympic champions Great Britain tomorrow in a warm-up match for the much-anticipated 21st Summer Deaflympics, which kicks off in Taipei on Sept. 5. The British team - which has been around since the very first Deaf Olympic event took place back in 1924 - is set to climatize to the Taiwanese humidity in an exciting friendly against Taipei City, one of Taiwan's premier football clubs.
Although soccer silverware has eluded the countries of the British Isles since England won the World Cup of 1966, it's a different story in the Deaflympics, which the UK side has won a total of six times - more than any other nation.
The most recent success came at the 2005 games in Australia as the champions beat Iran 2-1 to regain the title for the first time since 1989. But the team's history is not all success. In what must be one of the strangest turn of events in Deaflympics' history, it was the Great Britain side of 1931 whose players failed to defend their place as the world's best team in a bizarre "oversleeping" incident. Missing the match against Czechoslovakia in Nuremberg no doubt cost the players more than one night's lost sleep.
But that's all in the distant past, and the reigning gold medalists will this year begin their campaign on Sept. 4th against Japan at the Yingfeng fields.
But first the players are gearing up for the tough practice game against one of the star teams of Taiwan's local Businessmans' League (BML). Taipei City FC won the BML, which plays from October to May, in their league debut in 2008 and finished runners up last season.
The team has a completely international team with players from countries including Gambia, the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, Ireland and England. The team has played both foreign- and locally-based teams and has proven itself a talented side, earning it the opportunity to play against the Deaf Olympians.
Ross Conlon, captain and manager of Taipei City, says his team is looking forward to tomorrow's friendly and expects "a very tough challenge from the six-time champs. It will definitely be a very interesting match."
Confident his team is well-prepared for the coming contest, Conlon says his game plan will not deviate too much from the successful style of play that has brought them so many victories against local opponents. "I don't think we will change too much. We will just have to work harder to close down our opposition in every area of the field, especially in the first thirty minutes of the game while we find our rhythm."
This is not the first time that City has taken on such a high level side, having played several games against Taiwan's national team.
The match will be played at Taipei American School's field, 800 Zhongshan North Road, Sec. 6, Tienmu at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. For more information about Taipei City FC see taipeifc.com. More information on Deaf Olympic football can be found at english.2009deaflympics.org.
All are welcome to cheer along the teams at this free game. Drinking and smoking are prohibited on the school's grounds.