Dramatic change in prospect: North Wales Women’s Football League could end up regionalised for 2019-20!

Bethel and Llanfair United (blue) in action last season

The North Wales Women’s Football League could end up being regionalised for the 2019-20 season, it has emerged today.

A proposal to divide the league into North Wales Coast and North East Wales sections is due to go before clubs at the NWWFL AGM next Wednesday (August 21) at the Springfield Hotel, near Holywell.

It is believed the idea has come from a coastal club.

At present there are 19 teams expected to make up the league this season, 12 from the coast, six in the North East and one from Central Wales. The boundaries may be adjusted to ensure both regionalised divisions have near enough equal numbers.

Under the regionalisation plan, the winners of the two leagues would meet at the end of the season in a play-off to determine the overall North Wales champions.

Last week, plans to form a North Wales Coast Women’s League for 2019-20 were rejected by the FAW.

Had the scheme gone ahead, it would have left a handful of clubs within North East and Central unaffiliated and without organised football.

It is believed some coastal clubs were less than happy with the FAW’s decision, hence the subsequent regionalisation suggestion.

Last season, the NWWFL introduced two divisions for the first time.

The campaign ended in farce, with the destiny of the Division One title still to this day not decided.

A thrilling battle for the 2018-19 championship finished in discord when Kinmel Bay refused to play their final fixture away to Llanfair.

Llanfair needed to win the match 4-0 to take the title on goal difference. However, the deadline to complete the fixture passed and left the destiny of the championship in limbo.

Previous unplayed games during the season had resulted in a 2-0 concession. Had that applied to Llanfair, they would have lost out on GD.

The league’s committee decided to award Llanfair a 2-0 win, the Powys club appealed to the NEWFA, and they, as per FIFA ruling, granted a 3-0 victory.

This meant both Bethel and Llanfair finished level on points and GD.

Bethel had scored the more goals, but under the NWWFL rule-book, being amended for this season, ‘goals scored’ was not a factor in deciding league placings.

This will be the case this season, assures league secretary Huw Jones. However. ‘goals scored’ does apply under FIFA rules!

The NEWFA 3-0 ruling meant the championship was declared shared. However, an appeal, by which club it was not disclosed, went to the FAW who yesterday (Thursday) decided not to hear it!

A spokesman said: “The situation re: Llanfair and Bethel was not heard by the FAW. Therefore whatever decision was made previously by another body remains in place.”

It is believed a further appeal is now being considered by Bethel over the interpretation of the ‘goals scored’ rule so the saga drags on.

Another appeal, relating to Division Two, was heard by the FAW yesterday.

Champions Bethesda Athletic appealed against the league’s decision to take three points off them for not fulfilling a fixture against Wrexham, who were awarded a 3-0 win – an outcome which guaranteed them promotion.

However, that decision was thrown out by the FAW.

A spokesman said: “The panel decided that Bethesda were not responsible for the non-fulfilment of the fixture against Wrexham. As a result, they were not deducted points and Wrexham were not awarded a 3-0 win.

“Because the season has concluded and the game cannot be replayed, the panel awarded a result of 0-0 to the fixture.”

This means Wrexham miss out on promotion, but if the proposed regionalisation of the divisions goes ahead, the matter of who goes up would become immaterial.

Coast clubs (12)
Amlwch Town, Bethel, Bethesda Athletic, Caernarfon Town, Denbigh Town, Kinmel Bay, Llanberis, Mountain Rangers, NFA, Penrhyn Bay, Pwllheli and Rhyl.
North East Wales (6)
Airbus, Connah’s Quay Nomads, Corwen, Holywell Town, Northop Hall and Wrexham.
Central Wales (1)
Llanfair United.

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