Leon Taylor Wins 2nd Division Title in Asia

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Leon Taylor (R), celebrates with the Myanmar National League II trophy.

It was a remarkable debut season for Asian-based Liberian forward Leon Taylor after he helped his team clinch the Myanmar National League II championship in Naypyidaw, Myanmar (formerly Burma), a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand.

Royal Thanlyin was on July 20 crowned champions after its final league match against Kachin United. The match ended in a 2-2 draw that increased the champions’ points to 25 out of 12 games- five points ahead of runners-up Dagon FC.

The victory for the team earned it a place in Myanmar’s top flight league next season.

Forward Taylor started all of the 12 league games, and was instrumental in his team’s triumph despite playing in the league for the first time.

The 20-year-old won the league’s golden boot after netting 14 goals during the season. Prior to the final league game in July, Taylor won himself an individual accolade (player of the month) in June after scoring a double brace in a single match.

Forward Taylor of Royal Thine receives his Player of the Month Award

Taylor will now play in the first national league next season after his team was promoted as 2nd division champions.

“It is a great feeling to see myself winning the league title, and the golden boot during my first season here in Myanmar, but I look forward to winning more trophies,” Taylor told this newspaper during an online interview.

He said it was a difficult start for him in a new environment as he finds it difficult to communicate with his teammates because of the different language, but he was focused.

“It is a serious challenge to play in a league among people who speak different languages, despite those challenges, I was able to do my best and we won the title. My focus is now on the new season where we are going to play in the first national league,” he said.

The 20-year-old Liberian forward began his football career in the lower division with Ranger FC in the Wood Camp Community, Paynesville, outside Monrovia, where he was referred to as “Thiery Henry.” He was later spotted by a player’s agent during a tryout. He later moved to Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire where he played at the academy, and also at the 2nd division levels respectively before securing his contract in Myanmar.

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