MAJOR changes are coming to the domestic women’s game after an announcement from the Football Association of Wales.

The governing body confirmed that a complete domestic involving their women’s leagues will be in place from the 2021/22 campaign.

This comes following an “extensive review and consultation process with key stakeholders”, and the new pyramid structure will be defined in “order to provide competitive women’s football appropriate to playing standards, economic means, geographical location, facilities and club structure”.

Tier 1 remains a National League administered by the FAW, with the champions qualifying for the UEFA Women’s Champions. The UEFA and FAW Club Licencing Regulations that were introduced for the 2020/21 season will help ensure a competitive national league of the highest standard, with all clubs working within the same framework.

Those regionalised with new northern and southern leagues, that will be affiliated to the FAW. These Tier 2 leagues will be administrated by independent management committees with increased support from the FAW.

A new U19s Development League will also be introduced as part of the changes, which will be divided into a northern and southern league. Any team looking to participate in Tier 1 must have a development team.

Lowri Roberts, the FAW’s Head of Women's and Girls’ Football, said: “By introducing set criteria and providing additional support to Tier 2 leagues and clubs, it will provide a stronger platform for clubs to prepare to step into the Tier 1 and therefore create a more sustainable domestic pyramid and a more competitive national league.

“During the consultation period, it became very clear that there was a need to introduce a transitional step between U16s girls’ football and senior women’s football as the current structure was not supporting player retention.”

The Area Associations will be responsible for operating Tiers 3 and 4 in the Recreational Level of the pyramid and will be allowed more flexibility in the rules and regulations in a bid to increase participation.