A new era for domestic football in Wales is set to begin in September as a major restructure sees the launch of the Genero Adran Leagues.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has today unveiled the name, structure and brand identity of the leagues signalling a new chapter for the women’s game in Wales.
The new leagues consist of an eight-team top tier, the Adran Premier, a regional second tier with eight teams competing in both the Adran North and Adran South and an entirely new U19s regional league- with 22 teams forming the Adran North U19s and Adran South U19s.
The decision has been made to remove ‘women’s’ from the rebranded league name to create parity across all FAW leagues, making Wales only the third country in Europe to make such a move and the first in the UK. ‘Adran’ continues the FAW’s commitment to using the Welsh language, meaning ‘division’.
The Adran Leagues have been sponsored by Genero, a production and creative events agency. The two-year deal between Genero and the Adran Leagues is the most lucrative sponsorship of women’s domestic football in Wales to date.
Genero’s Managing Director, Peter Leckie, said of the sponsorship: “At Genero we are passionate about creating positive change and this is an exciting new chapter for the domestic game in Wales and one we are proud to be a part of.”
Players, fans and media were all involved in the rebranding of the league, taking part in focus groups and forums to inform the new name and brand with their own experience, the inspiration for a league launch film which calls out stereotypes and historical gendering of the game.
Lowri Roberts, head of women’s football at the FAW, said: “We want our players to feel empowered every time they step onto the pitch. Football has exactly the same rules no matter what gender you identify as, what country you’re from or what language you speak. In this new chapter for the domestic game in Wales, we want to make a statement that by removing ‘women’s’ from the league
name, the game remains exactly the same – it’s football.
“The new structure will create clearer pathways, improved provision and games programmes, and support for players allowing us to better nurture our footballing talent in Wales. This gives our players a stronger platform to achieve their potential. In turn, this will serve both the Welsh representative in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and Cymru’s ambitions to qualify for a major international tournament.”
In the Adran Premier, eight teams – Cardiff Met, Cardiff City FC, Swansea City, Port Talbot Town, The New Saints, Aberystwyth Town, Pontypridd Town and Barry Town United – play home and away. After these 14 matches, the top four clubs then play against each other and the same for the bottom four clubs, both home and away. The Adran Premier champion will represent Wales in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The team finishing eighth will be relegated to the Adran South / North.
The eight Adran South and Adran North teams will play home and away. The North and South winners will compete in a play off with the winner promoted to the Adran Premier.
The U19s league has been introduced to bridge the gap between youth and senior football with over 20 brand new teams across Wales., with clubs utilising their U19s as a key development tool for players progressing into their senior team. The winners of the North and South will play against each other to be crowned the national Under 19s champion.