While the men’s team continues to draw international acclaim, Wrexham’s women’s team is achieving equally remarkable growth.
Two stories which recently featured on the club website feed into this. One told of the incredible interest in the club, measured by our mushrooming social media statistics.
The other was the announcement that the women’s team is going semi-professional. It’s a massive step, on a par with the men’s team joining the Football League in 1921.
This is both an exciting statement of intent and a reflection of how swiftly the development of the women’s football wing of the club has happened.
Last season, their first in their current form, saw Wrexham perform superbly in the second tier of Welsh women’s football. They didn’t get promoted, but then they knew they wouldn’t when the campaign began. We didn’t attempt to fulfil the criteria required to join the top tier, as it was our first season since the takeover and there was a lot of infrastructure to establish before we could consider stepping up a level.
Now we are ready.
Gemma Owen’s outstanding work has been recognised in her becoming the Head of Women’s Football Operations, as the owners fulfil once more their promise to give those who supported the club through tougher times the resources to aim high.
We’re applying for a Tier 1 license, meaning we’d be eligible for promotion to the FAW Women’s Premier League should we earn it. As the Adran Premier League only consists of eight teams, making it to that level would clearly establish us at the nation’s elite level.
If we’re going to invest to get into the top eight, we’ll be looking to invest in order to be competitive. The stated aim of the owners, after, all, is to become “the best women’s team in Wales in the shortest period practically possible.”
That’s certainly not a far-fetched hope. If you look at the Wales national squad, you’ll see that the players pre-dominantly play for English clubs. If we’re able to use our financial muscle to tempt good players to us, we’ll stand a chance of challenging for the title.
Let’s not forget that competing in the Welsh top division would also open the door to Europe. As things stand, the Welsh League only gets one slot in UEFA competition, a place in the qualifying tournament for the Champions League. At the moment that’s decided in 4-team groups whose fixtures are played at one venue, meaning at the very least there’d be an exciting opportunity for the team to represent the club on foreign soil.
An enjoyable international experience won’t be the height of Rob and Ryan’s ambitions for the women’s team though. They’ll want to go as far as possible, and that opens up the possibility of a return of European football to Wrexham.
The sky’s the limit as far as the women’s team is concerned.