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Women's U17s tilt for European glory

Europe's top youngsters will be vying for European glory when they convene for the start of this week's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals in Nyon, Switzerland.

Action from last year's final between Spain and the Republic of Ireland
Action from last year's final between Spain and the Republic of Ireland ©Sportsfile

The continent's most talented young female players are decending on Nyon, Switzerland, for the 2010/11 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship.

Four qualified teams – France, Germany, Iceland and holders Spain – will contest the fourth edition of the competition from 28 to 31 July, with all the matches taking place at the UEFA Centre of Football Excellence at Colovray. Former Olympique Lyonnais and AS Monaco FC defender Patrick Müller, an ex-Swiss international, will be the final tournament ambassador. An autograph session with Patrick Müller will take place on the day of the final, Sunday 31 July, at Colovray at 17.15 local time.

The tournament will be a celebration of grassroots football, and will include a special training session with four of the Swiss women's internationals on Thursday 28 July between 9.30 and 13.15. Noémie Beney (1. FC Saarbrücken), Marie-Andrea Egli (SC Kriens), Jennifer Oehrli (FC Basel) and Rahel Graf (SC Kriens) will coach children from the Swiss canton of Vaud at the Colovray stadium, opposite UEFA's headquarters. The event is open to the media. An autograph session with the four players will take place after the training session from 13.15 to 13.45.

UEFA's continued commitment to women's football was underlined in June 2011 when the UEFA Executive Committee welcomed Karen Espelund as a member by invitation to the UEFA Executive Committee. Also chairwoman of the UEFA Women's Football Committee, she will present the trophy to the winning team at the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final ceremony on Sunday 31 July.

Karen Espelund said: "The potential for girls' grassroots football is huge all over Europe, and competitions lead to development. The Under-17s and Under-19s is becoming the natural pathway for most players into A teams."

UEFA will host a pre-tournament press conference at its headquarters on Wednesday 27 July at 14.30. The coaches of the finalist teams will be present, including France's Francisco Rubio, who played with UEFA President Michel Platini at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

In addition to this event, the UEFA Centre of Football Excellence at Colovray stadium will host two international friendly matches involving the Swiss women's Under-16 team and Team Vaud women's Under-16s, who will play Azerbaijan U16s on 9 and 12 August respectively.

For more information about the tournament, visit UEFA.com's Women's Under-17 section.

The match schedule for the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final round, shown live on Eurosport 2 is as follows:
28 July
Semi-final 1: Iceland v Spain (14.00CET)
Semi-final 2: Germany v France (18.00)

31 July
Third-place play-off (14.00)
Final (18.00)

Schedule of friendly matches between the Azerbaijan women's Under-16 team and Switzerland's women's Under-16s/Team Vaud women's Under-16s:
9 August

Azerbaijan v Team Vaud (17.00)

12 August
Azerbaijan v Switzerland (15.30)

Media representatives wishing to attend the matches, the pre-tournament press conference and/or the grassroots day on Thursday 28 July at the UEFA Centre of Football Excellence at Colovray are requested to register their interest by emailing media@uefa.ch.