Looking ahead to Sunday’s opening North Wales Women’s League matches

Will Amlwch be in the goals come Sunday? Picture: Gethin Jones

North Wales Women’s Football League previews – Sunday, September 8 (kick-offs 1 pm unless stated)

Division One

Airbus v Northop Hall

Talk about easing things in gently – not!

A full-blooded Flintshire derby awaits these two well-established teams on the opening day.

Last season brought three clashes between the pair, Airbus winning two and drawing one.

In the league, the Wingmakers drew 1-1 away and triumphed 6-1 at home, as well as winning 2-1 at Hall in the Welsh Cup.

Airbus have made some good signings over the summer and will start favourites with home advantage.

Bethesda Athletic v Rhyl

Two promoted sides renew rivalries at Parc Meurig.

They met four times last term, Pesda recording 5-1 (away) and 4-2 (home) victories in the league, as well as beating the Denbighshire side 2-1 in the NEWFA Cup. Rhyl finally got revenge with a 4-2 triumph over Athletic in the Division Two Cup.

Should be a good close battle.

Corwen v Denbigh Town

New Corwen player-coach Alaw Davies-Smith faces her hometown team first up.

While the hosts are new to Division One, Denbigh are a well-seasoned outfit in the league.

Town have secured some excellent signings in pre-season and will give Corwen’s youngsters a big test.

Wrexham v Llanfair United

With two cups and a joint-championship secured last term, Llanfair will be one of the teams to beat this season.

They can expect to face a fired-up Wrexham outfit keen to make a mark on their Division One debut.

The Dragons will certainly get an early taste of the cream of the crop in this league.

Free date: Bethel.

Division Two

Holywell Town v Connah’s Quay Nomads (2 pm – note time)

Two sides new to the league come into first-day combat.

Holywell present a team mixed with experience and relative beginners, while Nomads have assembled a very impressive squad in recent weeks under the guidance of highly-regarded coach Sara Hilton.

On paper, the Quay, who dazzled in their first friendly, a 5-2 win over Wrexham, should take the three points, but Holywell will be determined to put up a good show on their home pitch at Halkyn Road.

Llanberis v Caernarfon Town

Quite an opening game for Llanberis as they host long-established neighbours Caernarfon Town.

Led by former Bethel forward Sioned Phillips, the Darans have gathered an impressive group of players in a short space of time.

We’re not really sure what to expect from Caernarfon, the word being they are starting afresh this season with local youngsters having lost all of last term’s squad to other clubs.

NFA v Amlwch Town

Could be a belter this one.

Newly-formed NFA possess some fine talent, several of their players boasting first-team service with Rhyl in the WPWL.

Amlwch have added strength to an already very decent squad over the summer, bringing in a number of stars from the Ynys Mon Inter-Island Games final-reaching side.

Some excellent players on show in both camps, could be a very entertaining affair.

Penrhyn Bay v Pwllheli

No doubting the ability of the Penrhyn Bay side – they will be mostly made up of the Under-16 Welsh Cup winning squad of last season.

However, the players do lack in senior football experience, and they should come up against plenty of that in Pwllheli.

Despite finishing fourth in Division One last season, Pwll applied to drop into Division Two, in anticipation of struggling with player availability this term. Much may depend on what sort of team Pwllheli can field in this one.

It will be very interesting to see how Penrhyn’s young stars adjust to women’s football.

Free date: Mountain Rangers.

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