Palace Have A Teenage International Star That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

0 Posted by - March 26, 2018 - News

Will Donkin is unlikely to be a name too many Palace fans are familiar with but thanks to his mother’s international heritage, the U18 regular is fast becoming one of the biggest stars in the Taiwanese international set-up.

Born in Oxford and educated at Eton College, Donkin has always been looked upon as a talented footballer, initially being spotted by Barnet’s scouts at the age of nine, where he spent two years before moving onto Chelsea’s academy in 2012. Throughout his five years with the Blues, Will enjoyed real success, winning the Premier League U15 international tournament and even managing to get himself on the scoresheet against Manchester City in the final.

In 2017, Donkin decided to swap Chelsea for SE25 and is now part of Paddy McCarthy’s U18 squad; the venue within which Taiwan coach Gary White first approached the teenager regarding the possibility of representing the country at full international level. Unsurprisingly, given the fact that Donkin still has family living there, he jumped at the chance and is already being looked upon as a celebrity by vast swathes of the football-mad Taiwanese public, complete with an endorsement offer from a prominent donut shop; I’ll let you work out the pun they’re angling towards.

Despite the fact that he’s still yet to make his debut as club level, Will has now played in four full international fixtures for Taiwan, impressing in every one. Luckily, his coaches, both out in Asia and back here in south London are on the same page in relation to his development and look upon this as an opportunity that the teenager simply cannot afford to miss out on.

Whilst I’ll be the first to highlight the gap in quality between international football at that level in comparison to the Premier League, the mere fact that Donkin is able to hold his own at such a tender age undoubtedly bodes well for his future with us once he reaches true physical and mental maturity.

You may not have paid much attention before but Will’s next chance to impress comes tomorrow at midday when he and his teammates will take on Singapore. He’s yet to start a game for his country but this could prove to be the first of many.

Keep your eyes peeled.

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  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh March 26, 2018 - 10:44 am Reply

    A Taiwanese international and Eton graduate, certainly goes against the grain of the stereotypical modern footballer. Cheers for this really interesting piece.

    With him, Kirby, Lokilo, Wan-Bissaka, Tavares and a couple of other young internationals coming through, how long do you think it will be before we are given a Category 1 status?

    • admin March 26, 2018 - 11:14 am Reply

      I don’t know this for sure but I think Category 1 status relies as much on facilities as it does on the quality of the players we manage to produce. There’s no doubt though, after a lean few years, the youth coaches are going through a truly prolific period of late.

      • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh March 26, 2018 - 12:49 pm Reply

        That doesn’t surprise me. The quality of coaching and the proficiency of the players they produce is far less important than the quality of the ice baths and video analysis suites.

        I know education has something to do with it too but we have a partnership with the Oasis Academy which produced Wan-Bissaka.

        Really hope Wan-Bissaka has paved the way for some of these other guys to get a chance.

        • admin March 26, 2018 - 1:49 pm Reply

          You’d assume (if we’re safe in time) that Roy will blood one or two more in the final game or two of the campaign.

  • ee signing March 26, 2018 - 2:49 pm Reply

    It will be an interesting bet as to when this Boys club games tally with his International caps which is at the moment a highly unusual stat. Will of course help raise Palace’s profile in the Far East

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