Dave answers readers’ questions on North Wales women’s football

Catrin Evans (red) deserves a shot at the Welsh squad. Pic: Dai Sinclair

I asked a select band of readers to send me questions on North Wales women’s football and see where it takes us….

Here are the results….

If you could choose two women footballers in North Wales to be summarisers on TV or radio, who would you go for?

Gwenno Gibbard-Bolton

Sara Williams and Gwenno Gibbard-Bolton. Good personalities and talk sense. Both became mums this year !

Sara Williams

If asked to select a spokesperson for women footballers in North Wales to fight their corner on major issues who would you pick?

Erica Jones

I think Erica Jones of Pwllheli would be very good in this role

If you were asked by Jayne Ludlow to choose five current North Wales women footballers to join the Wales national squad for a training camp who would you select?

Anest Roberts

Catrin Evans (Amlwch Town), Anest Haf Roberts (Bethel), Rosie Hughes (Denbigh Town), Laura Pennington (Wem Town Ladies), Jade Scott (Airbus).

Are there any North Wales footballers who deserve to be in the current Wales senior squad but are not getting a chance?

Hannah Keryakoplis

I certainly think Hannah Keryakoplis of Derby County is worth another look. She’s won 20 senior caps but not been considered for a long time.

Hannah is still just 26 and is a consistent goal scorer at tier 3 level in the English pyramid.

Anyone who claims tier 3 is not a high enough standard to be considered for international football need only look at Helen Ward, Wales’ record scorer, who plays for third-tier club Watford and still gets selected for her county at the age of 34.

Lauryn Lyons has signed for Swansea City and once she gets over her injury might get back into the Wales picture as Jayne Ludlow is reported to be a fan.

How about the Wales Under-19 squad? Any North Walians worth a punt?

Catrin Evans and Anest Haf Roberts for definite. Llinos Hughes of NFA too, great young defender.

Problem is Jayne Ludlow doesn’t seem interested in North Wales at all – or at least players who play in North Wales. There’s a great divide in Welsh women’s football and it leans against the north.

Do you like the new three-division system for the North Wales Women’s League?

It’s given us the best chance of actually finishing the season on time.

Here we are, two months in and not a ball kicked yet due to Covid.

With the divisions being very small, the fixture list won’t be too taxing, but we need to get started soon.

My concern is if the men’s leagues start playing Sundays as well as Saturdays, what effect will that have on the women’s leagues and their Sunday plans – availability of pitches, referees etc.

I really hope the women’s league gets a fair deal, but I fear it might not.

The league has been a shambles for the last three years.

First we had the late inclusion of Rhyl Development in 2017-18 – and the trouble that caused – then in 2018-19 there was the farce at the top of Divisions One and Two and of course last season we had the bad weather and Covid, which meant the Division One title being won by a team which had played five matches.

The problems of last season were no-one’s fault, but we really need the North Wales Women’s League to be able to breathe, rebuild and have a proper season. Yet again this season we are in limbo and still waiting for the action to start.

It’s delaying the progress of women’s football in North Wales.

Which teams should we watch out for when the season eventually gets underway?

Hard to say, only two friendlies played so far and most clubs either don’t know their final squads yet, or are keeping their cards close to their chest.

Bethel excite me the most because the team is run by superb coaches and they have a seemingly endless stream of young players coming through.

Yes, there are a few experienced heads, but the youngsters are something else. There are a lot of players in the squad capable of scoring goals too.

Expect any new teams to make their mark?

Bangor 1876 should make an impact. The club as a whole is tremendously well organised and the coaching staff are first class.

You hear of players who might be involved there, but nothing concrete as yet.

What would make 2020-21 a good season for North Wales women’s football?

Just to finish the season would be an achievement!

I’d like to see champions crowned in all three divisions and no teams to pull out. I do wonder sometimes how ambitious some teams really are.

What I’d also love to see is a continuation of the North Wales Ladies Recreational League.

It ground to a halt last season after a great start because the fact there were no definite rules led to disputes and confusion.

The idea is fantastic – allowing women who might not necessarily have the time to commit every Sunday to play matches on a more occasional basis and not under a strict 11-per-side rule.

It was great seeing all the teams involved last season, I don’t want us to lose those ladies. Be great if this league could continue.

Who are you glad to see back in the league and who will you miss?

Laura Williams (white)

Really happy to see Laura Williams commit to CPD Y Rhyl 1879.

She’s a great footballer and her experience up front will really benefit Rhyl.

Sara Hilton (centre)

It’s sad the league has lost Sara Hilton, who has stepped down as coach of Connah’s Quay Nomads after a great debut season, but the new coach Stephen Boyes will take over a good squad and is highly motivated.

If you could, which player from the past would you bring back to the league?

Ceryl Jones without a doubt.

I never saw her play sadly, as I have only been covering women’s football since 2012, but all reports indicate she was something really special. She commands massive respect in the game.

If you were holding a party, which woman footballer would you choose to provide the entertainment?

Jamie Boyd

I honestly don’t know what any of them can do to entertain!

I would have to say Jamie Boyd, a guitar/vocalist and goalkeeper for Caernarfon Town

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