THE cancellation of the JD Cymru North marks the end of a “tough 12 months” but plans are already underway for the 2021/22 campaign, the Seasiders’ new boss has said.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) had proposed the second tier to be contested over 15 games with each club playing each other once, with the scheduling of eight home games decided in a draw.

However it was confirmed that the JD Cymru North could not have its ‘Elite Status’ designation reinstated by the National Sport Group (NSG) due to the current Welsh Government Covid-19 alert level, which it said left “insufficient time” to complete a reduced season.

Following the decision on Thursday, March 18, an FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW fully understands the frustrations felt by many throughout the country of not being able to play, volunteer and support their clubs. However, these are unprecedented times and the FAW is not responsible for the national Covid-19 policies and guidelines, which are in place to keep the nation as safe as possible.”

Ben Heath, appointed as manager of Prestatyn Town FC less than two weeks ago, said: “We accept the decision and believe it is the correct decision,” he said. “Some clubs feel it should have been called months ago, but [the FAW] have tried to delay it for as long as physically possible to give tier two a chance to play.

“It was obviously a very tough decision which is why it’s taken so long. We all have to accept that the decision made was the best available.”

Heath said the team will now begin its preparations for a full year of fixtures and he expects that competition for places will be more intense.

“We are working tirelessly behind the scenes at the ground and on the computers,” he said. “We are also about to start setting our goals and targets for the season ahead.

“We want competition for shirts and a mentality that every player must fight not just for the shirt but for the badge and fans.

“I am excited for pre-season and will make sure every session is worthwhile and enjoyable after the tough 12 months the nation has had.”