Sun, Aug


Today the Express, concludes its look at the players who are likely to catch the eye during the September 13-30 2001 Fifa Under-17 World Championship football tournament here.

Sixteen countries, including hosts Trinidad and Tobago, will participate in the prestigious event, with the best 18 players available to them.

This select group though, is supposed to be extra special.

Jerol Forbes (T&T No. 7)
A tall, lively striker, Forbes has remained at the core of Team 2001 since their formation under Nigerian coach Chief Adegboye Onigbinde.

But it was perhaps his cool finish in T&T's final warm-up match against Oman that finally helped him to step out of the shadow of usual strike partner, Nkosi Blackman.

Forbes's item helped Team 2001 to a 2-2 draw against the Asian outfit and has raised the hopes of the nation as they prepare for their tough group which includes defending champions, Brazil.

The Naparima College student is much more than a goalscorer, though, and it is instructive that he rates an assist in a schoolboy Intercol final as one of his proudest moments.

With Blackman struggling to recover from a groin injury, Forbes seems to be the most likely candidate to score T&T's first World Cup goal. Expect an acrobatic sequence of backflips if he achieves this record.

Lassana Diallo (Mali No. 7)
This quicksilver striker almost missed out on the tournament after being forced to choose between club and country.

In the end, Diallo had his choice made for him as Tunisian team Sfax failed to hammer out a deal with his current employers Djoliba Atletico.

It is only this quirk of faith that allowed Diallo to represent his country at the prestigious youth tournament. Mali Under-17 manager Leonce Diarra considers the setback in Diallo's career to be a blessing in disguise and is sure that his chance will come again.

Despite missing the African qualifying tournament, Diallo will be the star of the Mali team where his speed, intelligence and ability to carve out and take chances should make him a handful for defenders.

Niko Kranjcar (Croatia No. 10)
Blessed with eye catching offensive skills and good finishing qualities, Kranjcar shoulders the creative responsibilities in a solid Croatian team.

Kranjcar, who has already made his professional debut with Dinamo Zagreb, opened the eyes of scouts with some polished performances in Croatia's third placing at the European Under-16 championships.

A tall player with good ball skills and technique although lacking in pace, Kranjcar hopes to follow in the footsteps of Croatian playmaker Zvonimir Boban who stood out for AC Milan during the 1990s as well as in the 1998 senior World Cup.

OMAN-(goalkeepers) AL AJMI Ali, SABTI Hani, AL JADEEDI Sulaiman, (defenders) AL SHIKAIRI Sulaiman, AL SHIKAIRI Khalid, AL ALAWI Muaz, AL BULUSHI Haifar, AL ARAIMI Yasser, AL SAADI Sami, (midfielders) AL MUKHAINI Ahmed, AL NAUFLI Khalifa, AL HOSNI Adil, AL BULUSHI Nabil, AL MARZOQ Ahmed, AL MUKHAINI Hasan, (forwards) AL MAGHNI Hassan, AL AJMI Ismail, AL HINAI Mohamed.

AUSTRALIA- (goalkeepers) COE Nathan, REXJacob (defenders) WILKINSON Alex, HUNTER Matthew, BOJIC Predrag, DILEVSKI Spase, STUDMAN Brett, BROXTON Darren, (midfielders) VAN DOMMELE Adam, VALERI Carl,DANZE Anthony, AGIUS Fred, (forwards) STEVENS Ben, WALSH Sean, HOLMAN Brett, LUCAS Jay, ENGELE Matthew, SMITH Terry.


CROATIA-(goalkeepers) KRESIC Dario,PINTARIC Denis, (defenders) ORASCIN Asmir, SKEJA Domagoj, CAVRIC Silvio, BASIC Marko, LOZO Igor, (midfielders) PAPA DRago, CALE Hrvoje, PRIJIC Dejan, GRGUROVIC Mario, JAMBRUSIC Kruno, (forwards) RUZAK Igor, KRANJCAR Niko, GRIVICIC Ivan, SHARBINI Ahmad, LUKASEK Tomislav, BARNJAK Leonardo.

(goalkeepers) CHAIGNEAU Florent, FABRE Mickael, (defenders) DEBRIS Kevin, BERTHOD Jeremie, COLOMBO Julio, FATY Jacques,DROUIN Stephen, MOHELLEBI Laurent, (midfielders) MAIA Gael, YEBDA Hassan, MEGHNI Mourad, FAE Emmers PIETRE Samuel, (forwards) SINAMA PONGOLLE Floremt, LE TALLEC Anthony, BEN SAADA Chaouki, GLOMBARD Luigi.

JAPAN-(goalkeepers)TOKUSHIGE Kenta, KIMURA Atsushi, (defenders) AOKI Ryota, OI Kentaro, FUKUO Tadayo, OGAWA Hisanori,TAKAYAMA Junichi,(midfielders)KUBA Masatomo, NEJIME Shingo, KIKUCHI Naoya, NARUOKA Sho, KUDO Kohei,HIRABAYASHI Kiyohiro, FUJIMOTO Jungo,(forwards) MOGI Hiroto, ABE Yutaro, KITANO Sho, YANO Kisho.

IRAN- (goalkeepers)HORI Hassan, MIRTABATABAEI Seyed, (defenders)ABBASI Gemal, ALEI Ali, REZAEL Shic, MIRTOROUGHI Seyed, ASHORIZADE Amin, HASANVAND Mohammad, ARZANI Mohsen, RASTI Ehsan, (midfielders) AMINIFAR Amir, HAMRANG Mohammad, AHMADZADEH Mansour, KABEI Hossein, BAVIFARD Hassan, (forwards) AKBARPOUR Siavash, ASADOLLAHI Saeid, SHARGHI Vahid.

MALI-(goalkeepers) TRAORE Mamadou, KEITA Boubaca, (defenders) BAGAYOKO Moussa, DIALLO Boucader, TOURE Alhassane, COULIBALY Bakary, CISSE Modibo, DIAKITE Drissa, (midfielders) BAGAYOKO Daouda, KEITA Fako, KEITA Sidi, BALAHIRA Baba, DIARRA Drissa, (forwards) DIALLO Lassana, COULIBALY Mamoutou, TOUNKARA Karim, TRAORE Alain, DEMBELE Souleymane.

PARAGUAY-(goalkeepers)ALMEDA Marco, SILVA Anthony, (defenders) AVALOS Cesar, MARECO Victor, CRISTALDO Ernesto, ROMERO Jorge, MEZA Raul, (midfielders) RIVEROS Alejandro, BARRETO Edgar, PERALTA Victorino, LOPEZ Blas, BRITEZ Armando, MACHUCA Anggello, ARZAMENDIA Willian, (forwards) JARA Aldo, PEREZ Andres, FLORENTIN Derlis, BERNAL Ariel.

USA-(goalkeepers) WILLIAMS Ford, SCHUERMAN Adam, (defenders) CHUN David, WAHL Tyson, LANCOS Chris,HARVEY Jordan, GRIFFIN Gray, MARSHALL Chad, (midfielders) MAPP Justin, SIMO Chefik, JOHNSON David,STONE Jordan, CAPANO Craig, (forwards) JOHNSON Paul, MAGEE Mike, QUARANTA Santino, JOHNSON Edward, DIAZ Erwin.