It has been a very busy month for all in the Orchard WPWL – 20 games played, two covered live by Sgorio and BBC Radio, clubs have been applying for Licences and a space in next year’s restructured Tier 1 League, plus the return of the WPWL Cup and starting to prepare for the UEFA Women’s Champion’s League!
The on-field action has seen 56 goals, 18 cleans sheets and all clubs picking up points, with movement up and down the table. The battle for top spot has been turned up to 100, with Cardiff Met taking advantage of an extra game under their belt and superior goal difference meaning they are in prime position heading into May, but Swansea right behind them. It was also the perfect back drop to the team’s second meeting of the season at Cyncoed Campus, where the two played out a tightly fought 0-0, with the action captured live by Sgorio.
It’s the midfield spots that has changed hands the most in the past four weeks, with Abergavenny, Cardiff City and Port Talbot on equal points and Cyncoed on their tails at the start of the month, falling into 3rd, 4th 5th and 6th respectively. Its Cardiff and Port Talbot who have pulled away, setting up a great battle ahead of the Bluebird’s visit to the Sand Siro this weekend, but with challenging fixtures still ahead there’s still time for the pack to shuffle again. In the lower third of the table, it’s been a mixed bag of results, with Briton Ferry Llansawel doubling their points tally over the course of the month its they who are sitting pretty at the top of the group. All results and the current standings can be seen on the Orchard WPWL website.
We announced earlier in the month that the WPWL would be restarted to complete the competition, with three group stage games (to be played between 28th April-13th May), before the semi-finals 19/20th May and the Final to be held at Dragon Park on 26th May.
Off the pitch, the ‘Open Licence Application’ process is in full swing, which will confirm the make-up of the restructured Tier 1 and 2 of women’s football. Phase 1 was completed last week, following the Appeals Panel, with a total of 13 clubs being awarded a Tier 1 Licence for 2021/22, four earned the UEFA Licence and a further 21 achieved Tier 2. The clubs are now preparing for Phase 2, with the final outcome to be announced on May 28th.
UEFA revealed their revised format of the UWCL earlier this week, with a new knock-out format for those in Round 1. Clubs will still be put into groups of four, two from ‘Pot 1’ and two from ‘Pot 2’, however instead of mini leagues, these clubs will then be drawn against each other (Pot 1 v Pot 2), with the winners of the first match playing against each other for a spot in Round 2, while the losers will play off for 3rd place. These games are due to be played on August 18th and 21st.
We’re now just a month away from concluding the 2020/21 season, the last for the ‘Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League’, with a new name on the horizon alongside the new look league. It’s been a tough season in more ways than one and it’s fantastic that we’re now on the final straight, with a fantastic 17 fixtures left to look forward too!