With a young squad, plenty of international experience and a promising new signing, Ming Chuan University will hope for progress this year.
MCU finished 7th last year, recording only three wins. The Taoyuan-based team escaped relegation in a qualifying playoff against Andy Chen Academy, with a hat-trick for Taiwan U19 international Chen Shih-Hsun helping MCU romp to a 4-1 victory.
The 19-year-old newcomer Chen was recently signed and should add quality to a team with some encouraging young talent.
The side’s best player is arguably their 21-year-old midfielder, former U19 Chinese Taipei captain Tu Shao-Chieh.
After helping Taiwan’s U19 team qualify for their first AFC Championship finals in 44 years in 2017, Tu saw his international career initially make rapid progress.
In June 2018 Tu was called up by Taiwan’s senior national team manager Gary White for a friendly tournament in India. After substitute appearances against New Zealand and India, White finally started Tu in a 4-0 defeat to Kenya in the final match of the tournament.
The Taipei-born player has since returned to youth football, playing for the U23 national team in 2018 and 2019. Tu will hope that this season he can convince Taiwan’s new national team manager, Von Ca-nhum, that he is worthy of a place in the senior team.
Tu could be helped to shine at MCU by five of his former U19 Chinese Taipei teammates. Striker Wang Chung-Yu and midfielder Huang Sheng-Chieh each scored 3 goals last year in TFPL and will be hoping for a greater return as they mature. Similarly, left winger Chiu Po-Jui, defensive midfielder Wang Sheng-Han, right back Lan Hao-Yu will hope to continue their development.
With far fewer resources than their more illustrious rivals, MCU will be reliant on the continuous development of their young stars. With the team containing zero players over the age of 22, there is huge potential for the team to develop quickly. Time will tell how high the ceiling is for them.