We hope you enjoy your time in Taiwan and we endeavour to provide help wherever possible. Below you can find comments and stories from some of our ex players regarding the time they spent here, and maybe a few nice words people have left for us as well. Also if you'd like to leave a comment/story of your own please do so using the form provided.
I came to Taiwan to work at the Harmony Home Association, a charity that takes care of children affected by HIV. It was a fantastic summer for me, not only for the humanitarian work and Mandarin Chinese practice, but also because I found a tremendous footballing family - The Magpies. Back at Cornell University, I would play pick-up nearly every day. When I came to Taiwan, I looked around for a park to play football at, but the locals told me that Taiwan was just too hot to play a game like football. Not to be deterred, I took to the interwebs and found Mark and his team. I was a bit wary at first because I hadn't played in a real team in many years. On first journey to Xinzhuang for a training session it was pouring rain. When I arrived, people were playing football! I had no idea who anybody was, but I figured that I had rode the MRT for 2 hours to get there, so there was no sense turning back. I desperately wanted to play, so I threw on my Bayern shirt, laced up my cheap pair of nike boots I found at a night market and ran onto the pitch. Soon I found out that were we going to play a friendly match against our rivals, Carnegie's squad. I arrived at the pitch at Taipei Medical University 4 hours before the match and I ended up playing football with two Taiwanese kids. Excited just to play, I let a powerful shot fly into the net, and I remember the old Taiwanese joggers all giving me nasty looks because they were afraid I would harm the two kids. After that I resorted to spinning the ball into the corners with no power, but the Taiwanese kids all shouted "完美“ nevertheless. My most powerful memories were from that first friendly game. We thrashed Carnegie's 7-1. This was the first time I met Danny from England and Nick from France. We had instant on-field chemistry (although they were both much better than me). In the first half I scored a no-angle goal from the right side of the box into the side netting. As the second half progressed I remember feeling my legs were starting to give out. It had been many years since I had played a full 90. Just at that point, some older guy on Carnegie's team nutmeged me, and I became enraged. I caught up with his skinny, senile old frame and nailed him with a crushing tackle, and I promised him that I would score on his ugly orange team again. Which I did. We had a free kick, just outside the box to the right of the goal. I stood over the ball with Emre. I told him "just touch it and I'm going to scorch one." Emre didn't listen, he passed it awkwardly to the side, forcing me to change my plan mid wind-up. I ended up hitting it side-footed with a lot of bend. The ball, however, dipped neatly into the upper left corner, so at this point I acted like I had meant to do that all along. Emre, you're a genius. To finish off the night, I buried a corner with a solid header low past the keeper. It was a pretty incredible evening. As the summer progressed, I played in some more official games and played pick up with Danny and Nick. I do recall that the fields in Taiwan (excluding the turf pitch at Taipei Medical) were mostly sand, and it was nearly impossible to play beautiful football on them. But for me, the Magpies were an awesome way to feel connected when I was so far away from home. They gave me a footballing family, and I'm incredibly grateful to have had the chance to play and have fun alongside some great people. Best of Luck and Cheers! -Mike
Magpie Summer and an Epic 3 Goal Match by Mike Johnson from New York - 18-02-2015
When I look back on my exchange year in Taiwan and especially on the time playing for the Magpies, a lot of great memories show up. I play for a club in the Austrian league since I was 6 years old. Therefore, I searched for opportunities to be able to play football in Taiwan. Due to Mark´s commitment in the social media I saw the Magpies and I got the chance to play in a league match on my first weekend in Taipei. The team was nice and helpful, so the integration as an exchange was really easy. I played almost every game in the league or some tournaments and I think I also was fully committed to all the social events. Due to these events I got closer to the team and got a lot of friends in the end. Some memorable moments were the tough games against Carnegies and the wins of some tournaments. In my opinion, the Magpies are the best team in Taipei because you can play decent football and have an awesome social environment. That´s why the MagArmy will have a special place in my heart.
Exchange Year by Sven Skvaric from Austria - 30-10-2014
During my year abroad in Taiwan, I was keen to find a football club to play with. Starting and thus playing for Magpies was an honour, and certainly my most favourable football experience. A competitive team, well organised, and most of all a great team spirit and atmosphere. Mark did a fantastic job of making an environment welcome to exchange students, with not only the football, but also with many social events. Definately a superb learning experience in football for myself, testing a new and challenging environment. Magpies will always be close to my heart, and I absolutely recommend any students, be it full-time or exchange, as well as people in general seeking a football club in Taipei to join up with Riverside Magpies!A memorable moment at Magpies was winning a hard-fought victory over Animals in the CPL 3-2, as well the victory beers (Tower Time) with the team. I was never a great goal-scorer for Magpies, but was happy to contribute a number of assists in helping the team achieve positive results in the CPL.
Gustaf (Sweden) by Gustaf from Sweden - 13-08-2014
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