Crystal Palace Under-18 Will Donkin to join Taiwan national football team

Taiwan faces crucial Nov.14 match against Turkmenistan

Taiwan's football team heads out for Qatar ahead of crucial Nov.14 match against Turkmenistan. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – English Premier League club Crystal Palace Under-18 midfielder Will Donkin (沈子貴) is the latest addition from overseas to Taiwan’s national football team, reports said Friday.

Frenchman Xavier Chen (陳昌源) and Scotland-based Tim Chow (周定洋) were also recruited by Taiwan, though the former recently retired from the team and the latter will not join up for the time being, according to a recent statement.

Taiwan is facing a crucial match against Turkmenistan on November 14, with the outcome likely to decide whether the island can continue to the 2019 Asian Cup. As Taiwan defeated Bahrain 2-1 in Taipei on October 10, hopes have been rising that its team can improve and reach its first Asian Cup since 1968.

Donkin, 16, has a British father and a Taiwanese mother, who contacted the island’s Chinese Taipei Football Association to help him obtain a passport, the China Times reported. He had already flown from London to Doha in Qatar to join the team for training ahead of the match, which will take place in the Turkmen city of Balkanabat, according to the report.

“Signed from Chelsea at the end of last season, the midfielder is good on the ball, especially in tight areas,” the Crystal Palace website writes about Donkin. “He also boasts a good range of passing and will be looking to try and get plenty of action as he gets to grip with under-18s football.”

Donkin had originally been scheduled to play in an Under-19 match, but coach Gary White saw his potential and pulled him over to the national team, the China Times said.