Stern Signs With Nottingham Forest

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Nottingham Forest boss David Platt today won the race to sign highty rated striker Stern John. The 22 year-old Trinidad and Tobago international has agreed to join Forest and will be heading for the City Ground within the next few days after being granted a work permit.

John has chosen to join Forest even though he has attracted a considerable amount of interest from several clubs in the Premiership and other parts of Europe over the last three months. Dwight Yorke's international strike partner bowed out after another record-breaking season when Columbus Crew failed in their bid to reach the final of the Major League Soccer Cup.

Platt, who has been on John's trail since the beginning of the season and has flown to the United States to watch him in action on a couple of occasions, said: "It's no secret we've been chasing Stern for some time and we're delighted all the hard work has paid off. "A number of clubs showed an interest in him, but I know he's excited about the prospect of joining us." Platt added: "I've been very impressed by what I've seen of Major League Soccer.

The game in the United States is clearly growing in stature - both at a domestic level and on the international stage." Forest applied for a work permit when John indicated that he would be moving to the City Ground and have already received clearance from the Department of Education and Employment.

The striker met the criteria of the regulations which are that a player must have appeared for his country in 75% of their A team matches in the two years preceding the date of the application and that the country concerned must be ranked at or above 70th place in the FIFA rankings during that same period. John has played in all of Trinidad and Tobago's A team matches over the last two years and indeed 75% of all their internationals, while the island itself is currently ranked at 49th in the FIFA rankings.