Praise for domestic changes ahead of FAW Women's Cup Semi-Final
Domestic
12 March 2022

Praise for domestic changes ahead of FAW Women's Cup Semi-Final

Both semi-finals of the FAW Women's Cup take place on Sunday, 13 March (2pm), as Cardiff City Women and Swansea City Ladies meet at Penydarren Park while Pontypridd Town Women take on holders Cardiff Met Women at Jenner Park. 

FAW Women's Cup Semi-Final

Sunday, 13 March 2022 - Kick off 2:00pm

Cardiff City v Swansea City (Penydarren Park, Merthyr)

Pontypridd Town v Cardiff Met (Jenner Park, Barry)

 

Cardiff Met Women were the last winners of the FAW Women's Cup back in 2019, but a lot has changed on and off the field across the domestic game since that time with the introduction of the Genero Adran Leagues and the Under-19 leagues that provide a pathway through to the senior game. With increased investment and media presence this is the start of an exciting new era, and we recently spoke to the four managers involved in this weekend's fixtures for their thoughts on the rebrand and restructure of the women's game in Wales.  

“The new league structure means that games are continuing to be challenging throughout the season,” explained Cardiff Met Women's manager Yzzy Taylor. “We haven't had the start to Phase 2 that we would have hoped for due to games being cancelled because of the weather so we are very excited to finally get into our stride. Players of all ages across the league are impressing and I really believe that the future of women's football in Wales is progressing. We are proud to be a part of it.”

Cardiff Met Women take on an improving Pontypridd Town Women's side on Sunday, and manager Fern Burrage-Male was keen to highlight how the domestic restructure has made a positive difference. “I believe we are making great strides forward with Welsh women's club football. Players are improving, youngsters are coming through and the exposure the women's club game is getting in Wales is on the rise. The format and objective of the U19's league is right, but it'll take a few years for those younger players to fill those 1st team squads in order to make it truly competitive and developmental. Women's football is growing. It's getting bigger and stronger, and now is the time to get on board and enjoy the ride!”

But while there have been significant changes off the field, normal service continues on it as current champions Swansea City Ladies extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points this week with a 2-1 victory over perennial challengers Cardiff Met through goals from Chloe Chivers and Stacey John-Davies. Chris Church took charge of the side last September as the Swans look to claim a third consecutive title, and he has been impressed by the changes to the domestic game. “I think the re-brand has had a positive effect so far,” he explained. “You only have to look at results and the improvements of teams, which can only have a positive impact going forward.”

Cardiff City Women made headlines last month as they became the first team to take three points off Swansea City Ladies in over three years. Goals from Catherine Walsh, Amy Williams and Zoe Atkins sealed the dramatic 3-2 victory, and the result has added an extra edge to this already fierce fixture. Manager Iain Darbyshire has turned his team into genuine challengers to the accepted domestic order, and appreciates what an exciting time this is for the women's game in Wales.

“I truly believe that the women’s game is taking huge strides forward at this moment in time,” said Darbyshire. “The teams in our league are developing and improving all the time. We have had some really difficult matches this season against the teams in the bottom four, which shows the competitiveness in our league in comparison to previous years. It will be very interesting to see who comes into the league next year, but I’m sure they aim will add more quality. Women’s football has never been in a stronger position in Wales, and we are glad that we are a large part of its development.”

 

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