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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Turkey announce 21-man squad for showpiece event in India

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262   //    16 Sep 2017, 19:44 IST

The Turkey U17s
The Turkey U17 national team

Whats the story?

The Crescent Stars have announced and confirmed their 21-man squad for their third FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign that will take place in India next month. Turkey finished the 2017 UEFA Euro U-17 Championships as the semi-finalists losing out to England, but that was enough to help gain their place in the U-17 World Cup.

In case you didn't know...

The Turks have only qualified and played in two U-17 World Cups before and successfully surpassed the group stages in both campaigns. They managed to reach the semi-finals in 2005 and the quarter-finals in 2009. However, Turkey did manage to go the distance in the 2005 U-17 Euro Championship by beating Netherlands in the final with the standout player of the tournament being Nuri Sahin.

The heart of the matter

Their 57-year-old coach, Mehmet Hacioglu, who has been managing the country's various youth teams for three years also has experience as a professional level player and plans to take his squad to Qatar for final preparations before the big event. His 21-man squad comprises of the following players:

Goalkeepers: Berke Özer, Ozan Can Oruç, Eren Bilen

Defenders: Ozan Muhammet Kabak, Ramazan Emirhan Civelek, Berk Çetin, ?ahan Akyüz, ?smail Çokçal??, Abdussamed Karnuçu, Bekir Melih Gökçimen

Midfielders: Kerem Atakan Kesgin, Atalay Babacan, Egehan Gök, Recep Gül, Sezer Ta?kolu, Sefa Akgün and Umut Güne?

Forwards: Malik Karaahmet, Embiya Ayy?ld?z, Yunus Akgün, Ahmed Kutucu

What's next?

Turkey will have their work cut out as they have been drawn with African U-17 champions Mali, Oceanian champions New Zealand and South American semi-finalists Paraguay. They will begin their campaign at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on the 6th of October at 5 pm IST.

Author's take

Turkey were top scorers in the group stage at the U-17 Euro Championship earlier this year. However, conceding goals seemed to be an issue. They scored eight goals and conceded five in the U-17 Euro group stages.

The Turks won three games and lost two in their U-17 Euro campaign but it should be noted that they never lost a game by more than a one-goal margin. This means that if Turkey can stay focused and disciplined while not getting overwhelmed by or underestimating their opponents, they can certainly go a long way. They say third time is the charm, could this be the year for Turkey?

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