A new era for domestic football in Wales thanks to launch of new leagues
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
The Football Association of Wales will remove 'women's' from its league title as it welcomes its most lucrative sponsorship of the female game so far.
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The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has today announced a new era for the domestic game with the launch of the Genero Adran Leagues, featuring a new structure and brand identity to signal a new chapter for women's football in the country.
The FAW has removed ‘women’s’ from the rebranded league name to create parity across all domestic leagues, making Wales only the third country in Europe to make such a move. ‘Adran’, meaning 'division', continues the FAW’s commitment to using the Welsh language.
As well as receiving UEFA support, the FAW consulted players, fans and media in the rebranding of the league, staging focus groups and forums to inform the new name and brand with their own experience, the inspiration for a league launch film which calls out stereotypes and historical gendering of the game.
Lowri Roberts, head of women’s football at the FAW, said: "We want our players to feel empowered every time they step onto the pitch. Football has exactly the same rules no matter what gender you identify as, what country you’re from or what language you speak. In this new chapter for the domestic game in Wales, we want to make a statement that by removing ‘women’s’ from the league name, the game remains exactly the same – it’s football.
"The new structure will create clearer pathways, improved provision and games programmes, and support for players allowing us to better nurture our footballing talent in Wales. This gives our players a stronger platform to achieve their potential. In turn, this will serve both the Welsh representative in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and Cymru’s ambitions to qualify for a major international tournament."
How does the new structure work?
The new leagues consist of an eight-team top tier, the Adran Premier, a regional second tier with eight teams competing in both the Adran North and Adran South and an entirely new Under-19 regional league - with 22 teams forming the Adran North and South Under-19 divisions.
In the Adran Premier, eight teams - Cardiff Met, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Port Talbot Town, The New Saints, Aberystwyth Town, Pontypridd Town and Barry Town United - play home and away. After these 14 matches, the top four clubs then play against each other and the same for the bottom four clubs, both home and away. The Adran Premier champion will represent Wales in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The team finishing eighth will be relegated to the Adran South / North.
The eight Adran South and Adran North teams will play home and away. The North and South winners will compete in a play-off with the winner promoted to the Adran Premier.
The Under-19 league has been introduced to bridge the gap between youth and senior football, featuring over 20 brand new teams across Wales, with clubs using their Under-19 as a key development tool for players progressing into their senior team. The winners of the North and South will play against each other to be crowned the national Under-19 champion.