Why the sweeping changes to women’s football in Wales ? Your questions answered…

Amlwch Town Ladies celebrate a goal. Picture: Gethin Jones ATFC

Why has the FAW Re-Structured the pyramid?

The FAW are currently developing their Women and Girls Football Strategy. A key focus area within the strategy is to develop the national league and strengthen the domestic game in Wales.

In order to do this, a complete domestic game and player pathway review was required to highlight challenges and opportunities which would help shape the future.

The review highlighted some key limitations and challenges within the current structure.

Who did you speak to as part of the review?

The FAW set up an internal working group who met multiple times across the duration of the review and involved FAW and FAW Trust staff from across the following departments: Domestic, international, football development, coach education and compliance.

The FAW also worked closely with UEFA to look at best practice models from across Europe.

Externally, the FAW met with a number of clubs from various levels of the domestic game in Wales, and created an online player survey which was completed by 419 female players who currently play women’s football in Wales or play in an U16s team.

The survey provided key insight that helped shape the new structure.

Further focus groups were also completed especially focusing on girls playing U16s to understand their needs as they transition from junior to senior football.

What were the key findings?

• The current pyramid structure is not supporting player retention, as players reach 16 and transition into senior football many are dropping out. There is a strong need and appetite for a youth league to bridge the gap between U16s junior football and senior women’s football.
• The current pyramid structure is not effectively preparing clubs for the Welsh Premier Women’s League and there are currently no clear pyramid regulations below Tier 1.
• Tier 2 of women’s football requires more direction and support from the FAW.
• There is currently low awareness of the Welsh Premier Women’s League and its clubs across Wales.

What does the FAW hope to achieve from the re-structure?

Our aim is to develop the national league and create a clear and sustainable domestic pyramid.

The pyramid will provide competitive women’s football appropriate to playing standards, economic means, geographical location, facilities and club structure.

The new structure has allowed us to clearly define Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the women’s domestic game with clear pyramid regulations and a framework for domestic football in Wales by 2021/22 which will allow for fluid movement within the pyramid.

What will the new pyramid structure look like for the women’s domestic game?

Click below to view pyramid explainer video and pyramid structure image.

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