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Martínez: Youth tournaments crucial

Former Mexican international and Germany women's youth coach Vanessa Martínez tells UEFA.com about the value of tournaments like the Women's Under-17 Championship.

Martínez: Youth tournaments crucial
Martínez: Youth tournaments crucial ©UEFA.com

The newly expanded eight-team UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final tournament gets under way one month today in England, strengthening UEFA's commitment to female player development.

That much was emphasised at the KISS Women's Football Development Workshop in Stockholm in July, before the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 final, where among the speakers was former Mexican international and Germany women's Under-16 and U17 assistant coach Vanessa Martínez. A UEFA Pro licence holder and ex-member of the FC Energie Cottbus men's coaching staff, Martínez is a huge fan of international youth competitions, both the Women's U17 finals and the recently introduced development mini-tournaments.

"It's very important," she told UEFA.com. "These tournaments offer the opportunity to young players to experience international matches that they wouldn't get without these tournaments. For the development of young players, it's really important to experience this at a young age, because they learn all the protocols, what the protocols are with international matches. They learn to be away from home at a young age."

For more from Martínez, click on the video player above.