National cup heartbreak for Welsh clubs

Candice Nellist (red) in action for Connah’s Quay in the Welsh Cup quarter-final against Port Talbot. Picture: Jay Catton

Men’s and women’s football teams in North Wales have been left stunned by the news that all remaining FAW Cup Competitions for the 2019/20 season are terminated.

It means Llandudno Albion will never get to play their first-ever FAW Trophy Final against Penydarren BGC, originally scheduled for April 18 at Latham Park, Newtown, then postponed due to COVID-19, but now scrapped for good.

Connah’s Quay Nomads women will not get to take on Swansea City in the FAW Women’s Cup semis, and the men’s senior Welsh Cup last four ties between Prestatyn Town and The New Saints, plus Caernarfon Town v Cardiff Metropolitan are also cancelled.

The FAW National Cup Board yesterday made the difficult decision to terminate the remaining FAW Cup Competitions for the 2019/20 season.

The outcome brings an end to the JD Welsh Cup, FAW Women’s Cup, FAW Amateur Trophy, FAW Youth Cup, FAW U16 Girls’ Cup and the FAW Regions’ Cup. As a consequence, no title holders will be declared for the 2019/20 season.

The Cup Board expressed their sympathies to the remaining clubs in communications to them today and explained that the outstanding prize money will be distributed equally in the respective competitions.

A key consideration by the Cup Board was sporting integrity, in that squads are now changing in preparation for the 2020/21 season and will therefore be different to those competing in the competitions during the 2019/20 season.

The current Welsh Government Regulations continue to prevent clubs from participating competitively and as the pandemic situation continues, the available dates to reschedule the competition has also become problematic as the FAW plans for a return to football with the 2020/21 season.

North Wales Women’s League Division Two side Nomads had upset the odds by knocking out Welsh Premier Port Talbot in the FAW Women’s Cup quarter-finals and were thrilled at the prospect of biggest game in their short history against the mighty Swansea in the semis.

Nomads manager Sara Hilton said: “We completely understand the difficult decision the FAW have taken.

“Of course it is disappointing that we won’t have the opportunity to test ourselves against WWPL champions but this doesn’t take away from the huge successes we as a club have achieved within our first season.

“We look forward to building upon the foundations and targets we set this season and welcome the 2020-21 season with open arms.

“Football is a powerful sport for bringing people together and it will bring us all together again when the time is right to do so.”

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