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Djourou and Abbé back finals

Swiss senior internationals Johan Djourou and Caroline Abbé will attend Saturday's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final and both are sure it will prove a fine advert for the game.

Johan Djourou will be at the Colovray Stadium on Saturday
Johan Djourou will be at the Colovray Stadium on Saturday ©Getty Images

UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship ambassadors Johan Djourou and Caroline Abbé hope that Saturday's gala day in this year's competition – the final and third-place play-off at the Colovray Stadium in Nyon – will be a celebration of the female game.

It has already been a fine week for Abbé, as the senior Switzerland side won 3-0 in Russia and 4-2 in Kazakhstan to move to the verge of a 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup play-off place. The Yverdon Féminin defender will be joined by Arsenal FC's Djourou when Spain meet the Republic of Ireland for the title and the Netherlands play off with Germany for third place and a trip to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

"There's no denying that enthusiasm for women's football is growing and growing in Europe, especially in England, where I get to see the Arsenal women's team play from time to time," said Djourou. "The standard of play and the quality of the matches has to make more and more girls want to take up the sport."

Abbé added: "I know that a huge number of people are working behind the scenes to promote the sport, and their work is gradually paying off. There is media interest, but mainly when a team does well. That's why I encourage girls and women's teams to work harder than everyone else. Hard work always pays off!"

Part of the Switzerland team that reached the 2004 UEFA European U19 Championship semi-finals on home soil, Djourou knows the feeling that the players from all four teams will have when they represent their countries in Nyon. "More than anything I'm proud to wear the colours of the Swiss national team," he said. "This kit always makes you want to give all you've got."

Another veteran of a Swiss team that played on home soil in a youth finals, the 2006 UEFA European Women's U19 Championship, Abbé has high hopes for the big day. "I hope that we'll see some great performances and that the spectators will want to see more. There will certainly be some really good football and it will be an excellent advertisement for the women's game in the region."