This season will see a new team representing Welsh clubs in the Western Regional League; the Cardiff Celts.
After a season which saw the Welsh clubs struggle to field teams for their regional matches the clubs had to make some tough decisions for the season ahead. Eventually a consensus was reached between the Cardiff clubs to enter one team into the regional league which will represent all of them in the English competition. The WKA supports this move as a temporary measure to maintain high level competition for Wales’ elite players. It is hoped that the clubs will use this season to rebuild and expand their memberships, with an aim to replace the Celts next season with a team representing just one club.
Last season was the first year in which the Western Region introduced formal relegation to the league, a move supported by the WKA. Cardiff Dragons were unfortunate to find themselves at the bottom of the table and were automatically demoted. Cardiff City had struggled most to field a team consistently and were in a position requiring them to play-off for a place in the league this season. With two places available, Cardiff City would have been competing with Horfield (South West KA) and Raptors (Wales). Both Raptors and Cardiff City felt they could not at the time be able commit to a regional season. This meant automatic promotion for Horfield and the remaining space filled by the Cardiff Celts.
The Celts will primarily be coached by Wales senior international player Julie Prosser, who captained Cardiff City last season. Players from Raptors and Cardiff City, joined by Dragons, will form the squad for the season. A recent meeting between the clubs and squad members determined that the team will seek to train fortnightly and separately to each club’s own session. The squad is likely to contain many of the Cardiff based Wales internationals and other talented young players. Prosser is expecting the team to debut at the Bristol Thunder pre-season tournament on the 27th of September.
If you are a player affiliated to Cardiff City, Cardiff Dragons, or Raptors, and would like to be considered for the squad, please email our Development Officer, Kieran Davey: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardiff University are the other Welsh club in the Western Regional League, earning their highest ever finish in the competition last season; the club was 4th and level on points with the third placed team. Cardiff University as always have a significant turnover of players but the club is sure to be optimistic and excited about the season ahead.