The UEFA European Women's Under-17 Champions – the final round of which took place in Nyon last week – is providing young women players with crucial experience as they look to succeed in their careers.
The special nature of a final round such as the event staged in Nyon gives the youngsters an essential idea of what to expect as they move on to the next stages in women's football, as Béatrice von Siebenthal, coach of the Swiss national women's team and UEFA technical observer at the WU17 event, explained.
"A final round is crucial for a player's progress at this level," she told uefa.com. "They are very special from a mental point of view – a lot of spectators watch the games, there's TV and media coverage. Each player knows this, and it helps them handle these situations in the future."
The latest final round – the second WU17 final phase staged by UEFA – again demonstrated the great strides forward in the women's game, in particular at youth level. "Girl's football has developed considerably; we've seen interesting matches of a good level for this age group," said Von Siebenthal. "The players are getting stronger and more experienced, because they are playing more games than before."
Germany won their second WU17 title in succession with two excellent performances against France (4-1 in the semi-final) and Spain (7-0 in the final). The Swiss women's coach paid fulsome tribute to the Germans, in particular the attacking qualities that brought them the title
"Germany are already so mature in the way that they play, it's impressive," said Von Siebenthal. "They play to score goals, they want to play attacking football, but they are also so well-organised in defence; everyone knows their role, and they have learned this already at this age."
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