The first in a new feature from @YCPD – Female Focus looks at the often unfairly overlooked, Welsh Premier Women’s League (WPWL).
This week Gwynfor Edwards caught up with Llandudno’s Stacey Tradewell to find out what the influential playmaker has to say about the new season.
A few games into the season, who’s surprised you?
We have only played three games up to now- Port Talbot were just like last season always a close battle between us, although I feel we lost the game after being 3-0 up at half time. The second game we played the newly promoted Briton Ferry which has to be the team that surprised me, as they were all very organised, young and fit in their first game/ season in the Welsh premier league, they battled until the end and have a few strong players.
For anyone new to the Welsh Women’s game, who should they look out for?
There are a lot of strong players I have noticed in our league over the past few seasons- Emily Allen the captain for Cardiff met centre mid, last season we came up against Cardiff city’s striker Shannon Evans- Swansea have a number of strong players in their team too, Katie Bowe from our team expert at free kicks and Kelsey Davies is a whippet down the wing for us at Llandudno. Abergavenny are up the top at the moment but as we haven’t played them yet I won’t mention any names.
The standard of football is increasing massively year after year, what do you think is causing this?
The main reason for the standard of football increasing lately- is due to the fact there are more and more girls being made aware of the game from an early age. Also with the women’s world cup and how well England performed really inspires younger kids to take part in football and they now know that they can become professional and earn a living through the game. Also now women’s football is more popular/ known of for younger children to look up to and get inspired by- E.G- Jess Fishlock, Natasha Harding, Sophie Ingle, Steph Haughton, Karen Carney, and Jill Scott. Women’s football in general is now very popular with it being televised a lot more, WSL 1 and WSL 2 being televised on a weekly basis. There are more/higher qualified Coaches around now due to the sport increasing in popularity each season, selection processes from early age up to women’s age also help.
What could be done to improve attendances?
Attendance issues is a big problem, not so much in the women’s super leagues 1 and 2 and also national teams or USA teams. In the Welsh women’s premier league there are never any noticeable crowds, and it does make me think why? To improve attendances I think that the club needs to advertise the games often through social media, word of mouth, posters. Also set up membership cards of a one off payment E.G £20.00 for the season, instead of paying each game! Or maybe consider letting in for free until any increase in fan attendances. I also think the clubs men’s team can help in advertising ladies games and showing interest in it too.
What are your goals for the season?
Our Goals for Llandudno Ladies this season is to make it through to the Welsh Cup final again, but hopefully win it this season. We also to finish in the top five end of the table.
Stacey & the rest of the Llandudno gang are back in action this weekend- away at Swansea City this Sunday.