Bold new vision unveiled for football in Wales as FAW reveal six year plan
Growing the women’s game in Wales, increasing player participation and improving facilities are the key aims of ‘Our Wales’ – a six year strategy plan unveiled today by the Football Association of Wales.
Outlining the vision of meeting the growing demand of football in Wales, new FAW chief executive, Noel Mooney, said Wales needs new and improved grassroots infrastructure in order to become a leading football nation and to make sure there are clear pathways into the nation’s senior teams for stars of the future.
The ‘Our Wales’ strategic plan for 2021-2026 aims to ensure that football continues to grow rapidly, regarding inclusivity, accessibility and success on and off the field. The FAW said it has a clear focus on reaching 120,000 registered footballers, doubling the size of the women and girl’s game and ensuring that grassroots facilities are developed in line with these targets.
Since the FAW launched its last strategy in 2015, the men’s national team has reached the knockout stages of two major tournaments, while the women’s team is currently joint top of their World Cup qualifying group.
Domestic leagues, the Genero Adran Leagues and JD Cymru Leagues, have also recently been restructured to make them more competitive.
Cymru international legends like Jess Fishlock, Gareth Bale, Tash Harding and Aaron Ramsey continue to inspire the next generation and the FAW says it is focused on ensuring future generations of stars are able to carry on their legacy, but that it is clear that facilities are needed to meet this increasing demand.
FAW CEO, Noel Mooney said: “There’s so much support in Wales for football, and now is the moment to align our resources to become one of the world’s great footballing nations. We are striving for excellence both on and off the field, where Welsh football and the FAW are synonymous with high-performance.
“We have identified six strategic pillars and we will deliver these with our partners to create a happier, healthier and successful Wales.
“Despite the great love for football in Wales, it is clearly not reflected in our grassroots facilities, which need to be improved, and the FAW, along with our partners, will need to demonstrate leadership and courage to reach the standards we require.”
The FAW CEO said his time in Wales has cemented his belief that it is truly a football nation, but that greater investment in infrastructure is needed to reflect the strength of support.
Steve Williams, FAW President, said: “We’ve got the vision, but we can’t go it alone. Our strategy is called ‘Our Wales’, and means we need partners like Welsh Government, Sport Wales, local authorities, and businesses to work together to help usher in an era of Wales as a leading football nation.
“Wales, like anywhere, is on the road to recovery from coronavirus. If we are to build back better, then people’s health and wellbeing is very much part of that, and that includes making sure anyone is able to take part in our nation’s favourite sport in their local area as well as nationally.”
The women’s game offers the biggest area of growth in Welsh football and the FAW said it is prioritising this.
In aiming to double the size of the women and girls’ game the FAW hope to address the gender participation imbalance, particularly at grassroots level.
You can keep up to date with the latest news from the Football Association of Wales by visiting FAW.Cymru.