In the heart of Wales, amidst challenging circumstances, the women’s soccer team of Wrexham showcases unwavering dedication and resilience. This article delves into the inspiring story of these dedicated athletes, who defy odds and pursue their passion for the game despite facing unique challenges.
Hollywood Owners’ Transformation
When Hollywood heavyweights Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over the struggling Welsh men’s soccer club three years ago, they not only inherited a troubled legacy but also an amateur women’s team. The debut season of the streaming docu-series, "Welcome to Wrexham," primarily focused on the men’s squad’s journey, resurrecting the pride of a blue-collar town. However, the women’s story remained untold.
Hardships Behind the Scenes
The women’s team faces a far cry from the glamour associated with professional soccer. Crowds are modest, often counted in dozens or, on rare occasions, hundreds. Their playing field is often wet and uneven, officiating standards vary, and million-dollar contracts are but a distant dream. In fact, most players don’t have contracts; instead, they pay to play.
- Ownership’s Pioneering Investment
After recognizing the hardships faced by the women’s team, the new owners took action. A significant investment of $60,000 was made, a substantial sum in the realm of women’s amateur soccer. This funding helped the team secure a Tier One license and a promotion to Aiden Premier, the semi-professional apex of women’s soccer in Wales.
This transformation brought several benefits, including uniforms and equipment that players no longer had to purchase themselves. Aviation American Gin, a company with ties to Reynolds, became the team’s tracksuit sponsor. Additionally, TikTok, the jersey sponsor of the men’s team, extended its support to the women’s kits. Players began traveling together in a team bus, promoting camaraderie.
> Gemma Owen, Wrexham’s head of women’s football, emphasized the importance of breaking barriers in women’s sports, particularly women’s football in the U.K. The ownership change provided an opportunity to eliminate these obstacles.
The Spoiler Alert
The docu-series, while covering the 2022-23 league season, leaves out the crucial April playoff. This playoff would determine whether the team would achieve promotion. For those eager to find out the outcome, it will be revealed in an upcoming episode.
Triumph Through Determination
Spoiler alert: Wrexham did secure victory in the playoff, concluding the season undefeated with a 1-0 win against Briton Ferry Llansawel, thanks to a 74th-minute goal from Rebecca Pritchard. This victory marked a significant milestone for the team, with only three players remaining from Wrexham’s last top-tier team in 2016.
Following this achievement, Lili Jones and Rosie Hughes transitioned into semi-professional contracts, along with eight other teammates signing one-year deals. Hughes, a prison guard by day, leads the scoring charts with seven goals three games into the new season.
While these contracts may not bring wealth, the determination and hard work that got them there are invaluable. Jones, who once balanced soccer with washing dishes, now devotes more time to her passion.
> In Jones’s words, "We’ve had to work harder to kind of get where we are. But I think that adds to the togetherness and the family that we have at Wrexham."
‘Welcome to Wrexham’ showcases the remarkable journey of these hard-working women, celebrating their dedication and the newfound support that is changing the landscape of women’s soccer in Wales.
Supporting Women in Soccer: Overcoming Barriers
Who owns Wrexham AFC?
Wrexham AFC, one of professional football’s venerable clubs, finds itself under the ownership of two Hollywood luminaries: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. These acclaimed actors have embarked on a captivating journey, chronicled in a docuseries, as they took the helm of Wrexham AFC. As the town, the team, and the dynamic duo of Reynolds and McElhenney gear up for the new football season, all eyes are on their exciting stewardship and the impending arrival of King Charles III. Stay tuned for this unique blend of Hollywood and football, unfolding in the heart of Wrexham.
What is welcome to Wrexham?
What Is ‘Welcome to Wrexham’?
Welcome to Wrexham is a captivating American sports documentary series that made its debut on August 24, 2022, airing on FX. This compelling series offers an inside look into the world of the Welsh association football club, Wrexham A.F.C. The narrative unfolds through the voices of none other than the club’s owners, Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Dive into the heart of the game and the town of Wrexham through this unique storytelling lens.
Will there be a ‘welcome to Wrexham’ season 6?
Navigating the world of sports and ownership isn’t their typical terrain. In May 2021, FX network made a significant move by greenlighting two seasons of the docuseries Welcome to Wrexham, helmed by the dynamic duo of Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds. While fans have just wrapped up episode 6 of this enthralling series, the burning question remains: Will there be a ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ Season 6? Stay tuned for updates as the captivating journey of Wrexham AFC unfolds.
What can a Wrexham women’s soccer player do for a living?
For members of the Wrexham women’s soccer team, pursuing their love for the game often entails juggling unconventional professions. Some of these dedicated athletes find themselves working as prison guards or dishwashers to support their soccer dreams. These players exemplify the resilience and determination required to pursue their passion, even in the face of unique career challenges.