The national soccer team is to train at National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU) after the school yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA).

The agreement was signed by NTSU president Chiu Ping-kun (邱炳坤) and CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), and witnessed by Sports Administration Director-General Kao Chin-hsung (高俊雄).

The national team is to be granted priority access to the university’s two soccer fields in addition to assistance from the university’s sports science specialists until 2022.

“The nation’s soccer team members have lived like a group of wandering children. Sometimes they have to train in Kaohsiung, other times in Chiayi and still other times they have to go to Taipei,” Chiou said, adding that the partnership would give the team a home base.

Kao said that the goal of the partnership is to form the strongest possible national team.

“The CTFA and NTSU can mutually benefit from this cooperation. The national team has a training base, while the specialists at the university can apply what they have learned about sports science and medicine to help train the players,” he said. “They can work together to help develop the nation’s soccer industry.”

The university has one natural grass field and another with artificial turf, although the national team would train mostly on the grass field, which is rarely used at present, CTFA secretary-general Fan Ching-ren (方靖仁) said.

The university is also close to several housing options, including the university’s dormitory and Fullon Hotel Linkou, Fan said, adding that the hotel could provide food for the team.

National team coach Louis Lancaster also supported the choice of training venue.

“I am a big believer that the training environment needs to be as close to the game as possible, so if we play on grass, let’s train on grass,” he said.

The national team is to start training at the university as soon as field maintenance is completed, the association said.

The team is to train for their first match in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, which is to be held on Sept. 5 in Taipei.