A restructure of the women’s game in Wales ahead of the 2021/22 season has seen 37 clubs apply for the 24 places available across the top two tiers.
Fifteen clubs are fighting for just eight National League spaces, while 16 of the other 22 applicants will eventually make up the eight-team northern and southern leagues.
Lowri Roberts, Head of Women’s & Girls’ Football, told faw.cymru: “It’s exciting to see so many clubs engage with this process and share our vision for the domestic game.
“It’s incredibly important for the growth of the game that this process is competitive in order to release the potential of our ambitious clubs to not only improve themselves on and off the pitch, but to also assist in driving forward the development of the female provision across Wales.”
Tier 1 applicants
Barry Town United
Briton Ferry Llansawel
Cardiff City FC
The New Saints
Tier 2 South applicants
Baglan BG Junior
Coed Duon Welfare
Tier 2 North applicants
Airbus UK Broughton
Connah’s Quay Nomads
North Football Association
The submissions deadline for the first stage of the licensing process is 26 March, with clubs who meet the criteria then invited to present their club development plans. These will be assessed on:
- Awareness & Visibility: Clubs to play key role in raising the profile, increasing visibility, driving awareness and challenging perceptions around the Women’s game in Wales.
- Women in Football: Clubs to support women and girls to fulfil their potential on and off the field.
- Pathways: Clubs to provide a clear player pathway to the senior team.
- Sustainability & Growth: Clubs to have a clear development and growth plan.
- Player Development: Clubs to provide access to a high quality training programme and performance support to enable female players across all areas of Wales to reach their potential.
Successful clubs will be announced at the end of May, with development grants from the FAW giving Tier 1 clubs £6,000 per annum for four years and Tier 2 clubs a one-off payment of £3,000.