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The 10-year league... Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC

We caught up with Team Manager and Secretary, Ross Norgrove

New year, same season! As the Welsh Premier Women’s League 10th Anniversary celebrations continue, we caught up with Ross Ferry, who has been with Briton Ferry Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC since 2013. 

O: So, Ross, what is your role at Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC and how long have you been with the club? 

R: I am the first team manager and act as secretary for the ladies and girls' sections at the club. I started the first ladies' team at the club in 2013 and have managed the team since that time, as well as the overall club committee along with 4 others. 

O: How do you think women’s football was perceived when you first got involved in Women’s football? 

R: I first got involved in women’s football about 15 years ago when my daughter was 8 and started to play for her local team. At that time, I don’t think women’s football was taken seriously by a lot of people.  

O: Do you think perceptions have changed from then, compared to the present? 

R: With the introduction of a professional league in England and the success of the England team in major competitions, the view of the women’s game has vastly improved. In recent years, the Welsh national team has also improved with many of the players now playing professionally in England. In my opinion, this is still filtering down to grassroots women’s football in Wales although the standards are improving. 

O: What has been your most stand out memory with Briton Ferry Llansawel? 

R: My standout memory with the club must be gaining promotion to the WPWL. We achieved this in just our third season as a club which was a huge achievement. Unfortunately, we relegated in our first season but immediately regained our place in the league by getting promoted after winning the Welsh Women’s league the following season. 

O: What are your hopes for the future of the WPWL league?  

R: I hope the WPWL goes from strength to strength. Unfortunately, in this current season the league has lost both Rhyl and Llandudno leaving no North Wales teams in the league and just 8 teams from the South. There is clearly some work to do with regards to getting teams from the North back into the league but women’s football in the South is definitely improving since the introduction of the Welsh Women’s league and I would like to see the league increased to 12 teams over the next few years as standards improve. 

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#OrchardWPWL #WPWL10 

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