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The English manager in charge of Taiwan’s football team

Three years ago Louis Lancaster was coaching youth players at Watford. Now he is taking Taiwan up the Fifa world rankings

By Chris Evans for The Set Pieces

It was the hardest decision of Louis Lancaster’s life. The ambitious coach was on the cusp of starting an exciting new chapter of his career in Asia, but it would come at a price. For Lancaster to take up his new post as assistant manager at Chinese side Shanghai Shenxin, he would need to leave behind his seriously ill father. By jetting off to start his job, he knew he might never see his dad again.

“My dad wasn’t well when I left and I potentially wasn’t going to see him again. So, I asked him: ‘What do you want me to do – do you want me to go?’ He knew how passionate I am about football; he had introduced me to it. He said ‘you’ve got to go’ but I knew I might not see him again. I left on 12 July and my dad passed away on 2 August. I didn’t even come back for my dad’s funeral.”

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