The FAW has announced a major domestic restructure for the women’s game in Wales, which will be in place from the 2021/22 season.
The FAW said that ‘following an extensive review and consultation process with key stakeholders, a new pyramid league structure will be defined in order to provide competitive women’s football appropriate to playing standards, economic means, geographical location, facilities and club structure.’
While Tier 1 (WPWL) remains a National League administered by the FAW, Tier 2 will be regionalised with new northern and southern leagues, that will be affiliated to the FAW.
The licence application process for Tier 1 and 2 will be open to all clubs in Wales for the 2021/22 season.
A new U-19s Development League will be introduced for 2021/22 with northern and southern sections, with clubs having to enter a side as part of qualifying for a Tier 1 licence.
The Area Associations will be responsible for operating Tiers 3 and 4 in the Recreational Level of the pyramid, with an aim to increase participation.
On the major restructure to the pyramid, Lowri Roberts, the FAW’s Head of Womens’ and Girls’ Football, told faw.cymru: “By introducing set criteria and providing additional support to Tier 2 leagues and clubs, it will provide a stronger platform for clubs to prepare to step into the Tier 1 and therefore create a more sustainable domestic pyramid and a more competitive national league.”
“During the consultation period, it became very clear that there was a need to introduce a transitional step between U-16 girls’ football and senior women’s football as the current structure was not supporting player retention.”