Youngsters named for final test

Young star Alex Frei is set to lead the attack against the Czechs Keystone Archive

The coach of Switzerland's under-21 football team has named his squad for the last warm-up match before this summer's European Championships.

This content was published on April 10, 2002 - 16:04

Bernard Challendes has called up 18 players for next Wednesday's friendly match against fellow European Championship contenders the Czech Republic. Three young members of Switzerland's senior team - Ricardo Cabanas, Alex Frei and Ludovic Magnin - have been included in the squad.

Although a number of injury concerns have hampered Challendes' preparations for the European Championships, the under-21 coach was at least able to recall Johan Berisha to his squad on Wednesday, after the Young Boys midfielder completed his recovery from a ligament injury.

Injured FC Aarau trio Elvir Melunovic, Roman Friedli and Ivan Previtali are still unavailable however.

Doubly significant

The European Championships are doubly significant for Switzerland. As well as marking the country's first ever appearance in the U21 finals, the tournament is also being staged on home soil.

After bidding successfully to host the championships, the Swiss will welcome rivals from England, France, Italy, France, Belgium, Greece and the Czech Republic. The tournament starts on May 16 and culminates in a May 28 final to be held in Basel's St Jakob stadium.

Swiss squad to play Czech Republic:

Goalkeepers: Thierry Bally (Lucerne), Nicolas Beney (Sion)

Defenders: Mario Eggiman (Aarau), Stéphane Grichting (Sion), Stephan Keller (FC Zurich), Ludovic Magnin (Werder Bremen), Remo Meyer (Lausanne), Roland Schwegler (Grasshoppers Zurich)

Midfielders/Forwards: Thirno Bah (Servette Geneva), Johan Berisha (Young Boys Bern), Rainer Bieli (St Gallen), Ricardo Cabanas (Grasshoppers), Alex Frei (Servette), Daniel Gygax (FC Zurich), Nicolas Marazzi (Sion), André Muff (Lucerne), Pascal Oppliger (Neuchâtel Xamax), Reto Zanni (St Gallen)

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