However, Abergavenny have their own ambitions for the remainder of the campaign, and with games in hand over the teams above them they are well-positioned to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish. “We’re looking forward to what is a big game against one of the best teams in the country,” explained manager Richie Jeremiah to the WPWL website this week. “It’s a game that gives us an opportunity to see how we are moving forward as a team and we know that we can compete against the best teams in this league.”
Abergavenny boss Richie Jeramiah (photo courtesy of Will Cheshire/Abergavenny Women FC)
Swansea City ended Cardiff Met’s recent dominance of the WPWL title last season, and Jeremiah believes the shift in power has had far-reaching benefits for the overall competitiveness of the league this season. “I think Swansea City winning the league above Cardiff Met last season was a motivation for everyone this year,” he added. “I’m sure it has motivated Cardiff Met too after they had been so dominant in previous years. The league has become a lot more competitive, which can only be a good thing.”
Currently sitting in fifth-place, Abergavenny have claimed six victories in their opening ten games, including respective 4-0 and 5-0 successes over Caldicot Town and Caernarfon Town. The two newcomers have struggled in their first season in the WPWL, and while Jeremiah believes the league has become more competitive, the gap between the top-flight and the feeder leagues is a cause for concern.
“There is a big gap between the top six or eight teams in the league and best teams in the feeder leagues,” he explained. “Some of the results in the Welsh Cup this season have shown that the leading teams below the WPWL have a lot to do if they are to compete at this level, and this has been proved with Caldicot and Caernarfon finding things difficult in their first season in the league.
“It’s difficult for new teams to stay in this league, let alone compete against the established teams. I think these clubs would benefit from more help and support in terms of coaching and developing their youth and junior setups, as this would help improve the quality of players coming through the system.”
However, Jeremiah is focused on the fortunes of his own club at the present time, and with five home games remaining the aim now is to finish the season on a high. “We’ve been disappointed this season having been knocked-out of both cup competitions,” he added. “But we finished fourth in the league last season, and if we can improve on that then there will be positives to take from the campaign. We can definitely push the teams immediately above us, and we will be looking to finish as high up the table as possible.”
Orchard WPWL Weekend Fixtures (all 14:00 kick-offs)
Abergavenny v Cardiff Met
Caernarfon Town v Llandudno
Caldicot Town v Port Talbot