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Challenge Cup set to return under North Wales coast football shake-up next season

Caernarfon Town were the last winners of the NWCFA Challenge Cup in 2014. Picture: Caernarfon Town FC

The NWCFA Challenge Cup is set to return to the fixture list under planned changes to the make-up of North Wales football next season.

The competition ran from 1923-24 until 2013-14, when it was suspended indefinitely due to lack of interest from clubs.

Now it is coming back as the Senior Challenge Cup to be competed for by directly affiliated clubs at tier 3 (currently Welsh Alliance) level and above, where their ground is located within the boundary of the NWCFA, and by invitation only.

Rhyl have lifted the cup the most times (16) while the last winners were Caernarfon Town.

The cup’s return was one of a number of proposals passed by the NWCFA at a recent meeting of the association and its member clubs.

All plans at the meeting given the thumbs-up and will now be considered by the FAW at a later date.

These were the proposals put forward by the NWCFA:

1) At the end of the current 2019-20 season the following NWCFA affiliated leagues will be dissolved:
Gwynedd Football League, the Vale of Clwyd & Conwy Football League and the Anglesey Football League.

2) Two new leagues shall be formed within the NWCFA area from the start of season 2020-21:
They will be: the North Wales Coast West Football League and the North Wales Coast East Football League.
Each new league structure shall have two divisions, with no more than 16 clubs in each division.

3) The North Wales Coast West Football League shall replace the current Gwynedd Football League and the Anglesey Football League.
The North Wales Coast East Football League shall replace the current Vale of Clwyd & Conwy Football League.

4) North Wales Coast West Football League will comprise:
Premier Division – with no more than 16 clubs.
Division One – with no more than 16 clubs.

5) North Wales Coast East Football League will comprise:
Premier Division – with no more than 16 clubs.
Division One – with no more than 16 clubs.

6) The Premier Divisions will come under Tier 4 classification
The Division Ones will come under Tier 5 classification

7) Clubs who complete the season as Division One champions or runners-up, will be considered for promotion to the Premier Division providing they meet the ground criteria for the Premier Division, by April 30 at the end of each season.

8) New clubs wishing to join the league must submit their application to the league’s general secretary by 31st December of each season, together with a £100 application fee.

Proposed new cup competitions…..

Proposed Area Association Cup Competitions

Senior Challenge Cup
To be competed for by Directly Affiliated clubs at TIER 3 and above, where their ground is located within the boundary of the Area Association, and also by invitation only.
The Senior Challenge Cup will be a continuation of the former NWCFA Challenge Cup, which was suspended in 2014.

Intermediate Challenge Cup
To be competed for by all clubs at TIER 4 only.
The Intermediate Challenge Cup will be a continuation of the former NWCFA Intermediate Cup, discontinued in 1981 and temporarily restored in the last decade.

Junior Challenge Cup
To be competed for by all clubs at TIER 5 and below only.
The Junior Challenge Cup will be a continuation of the NWCFA Junior Cup which has run unbroken (apart from the two world wars) since 1895.

Tucker Shield
To be competed for by the champion club from the West League and East League of Tier 4, in a single play-off final at the end of each season.

Proposed League Cup Competitions

North Wales Coast West League
Premier Division – One cup competition to be competed for by all clubs at Tier 4 only
Division One – One cup competition to be competed for by all clubs at Tier 5 only

North Wales Coast East League
Premier Division – One cup competition to be competed for by all clubs at Tier 4 only
Division One – One cup competition to be competed for by all clubs at Tier 5 only

It is not yet known which clubs will be entering tiers 4 and 5 from the current Welsh Alliance League. This is unlikely to become clear until June. Welsh Alliance Division Two is already currently classed as Tier 4.

From 2020-21, tiers 1, 2 and 3 of the pyramid will be run by the FAW, while tiers 4 and 5 come under the auspices of area associations.

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