Mehmet ready for World Cup

Academy goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet will begin his quest to become a FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner on Sunday.

The 17-year-old has been named as the No1 stopper in Turkey's squad for the tournament, which gets underway in Nigeria on Saturday afternoon.

Turkey, who have reached the tournament for the second time in their history after qualifying in 2005, will kick-off with a Group D fixture against Burkina Faso in Enugu on Sunday afternoon.

Mehmet and his team-mates will take on Costa Rica at the same venue on Wednesday 28 October before completing their group stage fixtures against New Zealand in Calabar on Saturday 31 October.

Turkey are one of 24 teams vying for the title of world champions and are one of six European nations to have qualified alongside Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. The top two sides in each of the six groups will qualify for the knockout stages, alongside the four best third-placed countries.

The FIFA U17 World Cup is being held for the 13th time this year, having first taken place in China in 1985, when this year's hosts Nigeria were the winners.

Turkey reached the semi-finals in their only previous appearance four years ago before losing 4-3 to Brazil. They were then edged out 2-1 by the Netherlands in the third-place play-off.

The Turks' passage to this year's tournament was only secured by a 1-0 win over England in the group stage at this summer's UEFA European U17 Championship finals in Germany. Mehmet starred in the game, making a serious of superb saves to ensure his nation's progress.

Mehmet is one of two English-based players named in Abdullah Ercan's 21-man squad, with Millwall midfielder Kamil Corekci also included.

The coach is confident of success, saying: "To achieve something like winning the FIFA U17 World Cup, you need to pass through a certain process. We finally did that, and now we're one of the strongest candidates to win the tournament."

For further information about the tournament, click here.