The Football Association of Wales has released its first grassroots football strategy – Enhancing Lives Through Football.

The new six-year strategy will grow and develop the game, focusing on the people who deliver community football on and off the pitch, increasing participation at all levels, improving behaviours, and enhancing accessibility to the game.

In developing Enhancing Lives Through Football, the FAW has consulted with the public and key stakeholders to gain insight into the current challenges across grassroots football.

The FAW will use the power of football to enhance lives in every community, supporting clubs to become sustainable, adaptable and community focused; improving the quality and access to facilities; in addition to creating a diverse and inclusive grassroots football community. 


The new strategy comes at a time when grassroots football in Central Wales is at a low ebb with the FAW's pyramid restructure of 2020 leading to the demise of several clubs and even the Watson Financial Mid Wales League South.

The strategy identifies six strategic goals focused on people, players, clubs, leagues, behaviours and facilities. The FAW will work in partnership with key stakeholders to achieve a series of aspirational success measures: 

Double the number of ‘off pitch’ volunteers.

Double the number of coaches who are women and/or from an ethnically diverse background.

20% increase in the number of grassroots matches officiated by a qualified referee.

100% of clubs to have a club development plan.

50% increase in the number of girls playing aged 5-11 years.

50% reduction in players aged 12-17 leaving the game.

Double the number of registered adults playing recreational football.

Under the strategic goals are five enablers covering communications and marketing, digital products and technology, strong partnerships, data and insights, and new investment.

Ben Field, FAW Head of Grassroots Football, said: “Football can enhance lives in every community and through this six-year strategy, together we will create stronger, healthier and connected communities.

“We will do this by developing people, growing participation, creating strong, sustainable and inclusive football clubs. We also want to see modern and flexible leagues with improved behaviours on and off the pitch.

“The FAW has a team of seven Club Developers based within the 6 regional Area Associations. Their primary responsibility is to support clubs with their ‘off pitch’ requirements e.g. facility developments, volunteer recruitment, retention and development, and governance improvements. 

“Clubs are also able to access a library of online resources from the FAW ‘Clwb Cymru’ platform.

Free digital resources providing guidance on any number of club related matters including attracting and retaining volunteers, facility management and development, engaging better with the local community and legal governance, amongst other topics.”