Rhyl FC
Rhyl FC
The Lilywhites

Date Added 26/04/2017

With relegation now confirmed its time to look ahead to the 2017/18 season and hopefully in twelve month’s time a celebration of a swift return to the Welsh Premier League. That’s the hope however it’s expected that the Huws Gray Alliance is going to be a very competitive league next season.

Who will be remaining in the league next season?

Joining Rhyl from the Dafabet Welsh Premier League will be Airbus UK Broughton. Two season’s ago the Wingmakers were in Europe, now they are joining us in the second tier. Budget depending they will be looking for an immediate return. Going in the opposite direction is Prestatyn Town with our neighbours heading to the top flight again after a two year absence.

The Huws Gray Alliance came to an end last weekend and the teams in positions 2 to 12 in the 16 team league will return for the 17/18 season. This means that next season we will be playing Caernarfon Town, Gresford Athletic, Porthmadog, Holywell Town, Flint Town United, Caersws, Guilsfield, Holyhead Hotspur, Denbigh Town, Ruthin Town and Penrhyncoch.

Who may be joining the league?

With two teams dropping from the top tier this means in the North 4 teams could be relegated as each of the feeder leagues (Welsh Alliance, Wrexham Area League and Mid Wales League) may see a side promoted.

At present therefore in current order Llanfair United, Mold Alex, Conwy Borough and Buckley Town are all nervously awaiting the conclusion of the feeder leagues. As ever this position is clouded by the perennial complication in non-league football ground grading. However with 2 teams coming down Buckley Town appear doomed to relegation. For the remaining three decisions regarding promotion will determine their fate.

In total 12 teams have expressed an interest and on the first inspection only Llangefni Town in the Welsh Alliance and Berriew in the Mid Wales league passed the initial inspection. Carno, Llandudno Junction and Rhayader Town subsequently passed the second inspection whilst FC Nomads and FC Queens Park have applied to ground share. However FC Queens Park bid to play at Stansty Park has now passed the inspection requirements at the second attempt. In addition the rules in the feeder reflect the rule in the Huws Gray that if the champions are not eligible for promotion the runners up may step up.  The deadline to meet league ground criteria is the 30th April.

In the Lockstock Welsh Alliance the season is set to go until the 13th May. Llangefni currently lie in 7th place 20 points behind the leaders but with 7 games to play in the next fortnight. Leaders Glantraeth failed their initial ground inspection but current second place side Llandudno Junction second inspection was successful.  Glantraeth look likely to be crowned Champions as only Llangefni Town could overtake them if they win all their remaining games and the Anglesey side don't pick up another point. The Anglesey side are confident of passing the re-inspection but have yet to confirm whether they would choose to step up to the Huws Gray Alliance for next season. This decision puts added emphasis on the race for second place with Llandudno Junction currently in second place with three games to go.

In the Spar Mid Wales League, Rhayader Town clinched the title at the weekend despite losing at home to Berriew.  Second place Berriew are a point ahead of Carno who have two games to play. All this, means that a side from the Spar Mid Wales league will have the opportunity to replace a current Huws Gray side as both 1st and 2nd place finishers will be eligible for promotion.

In the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) the top two positions have been finalised. FC Queen’s Park have claimed the title and Brickfield Rangers have finished second. FC Queens Park have applied for a ground share arrangement with Lex and improvements have been completed to enable the Wrexham side to clinch promotion.

With the ground inspection deadlines and the end of the season coming up over the next two weeks the final 3 places in the Huws Gray Alliance should become clearer.