January will see the launch of an intense and thrilling short season for new-look Biffa SWFL regional leagues, to bring them into the Scottish Women’s Football pyramid.
Three regional leagues have become four, with several new teams entering a structure for the short season which will allow the most ambitious clubs a route to the top of the game in Scotland.
The half season will run to the summer, allowing the SWFL to align itself with the performance game and introduce promotion and relegation from the Women’s League One at the end of the current season.
The four top-placed teams in the four leagues outwith development sides will enter play-offs to take their place in League One, with the side finishing bottom of League One relegated to their local regional league.
Commenting ahead of the new season, SWF CEO Aileen Campbell said: “This is such an exciting time for women’s football. Our game continues to grow and develop, offering up new opportunities for women and girls across Scotland to be involved.
“The current SWFL began as way to offer regional football in a more relaxed yet structured format, but in a short period of time has developed into exciting regional competitions in their own right, lit up by stand-out players. From providing a robust testing ground for big clubs to develop their talent to an arena where new clubs and talent emerge, the regional leagues have been rich with stories of communities, sporting glory and overcoming the odds.
“Now, with a league sponsor for the first time, the regional Scottish Women’s Football Leagues will take their place in a robust pyramid, providing a route for all clubs to reach the top of the game based on their sporting prowess and their commitment to youth development and the wellbeing of our players.
“It will be a nail-biting short season with everything to play for. Good luck to all the teams.”
With the introduction of new teams, the new leagues have been aligned to be roughly equal in number of teams. This means the #BiffaSWFL North, West and South each have ten teams and the Biffa SWFL East has 12 teams.
The development teams of SWPL club East Fife, Championship club Dryburgh Athletic and League One club Westdyke will be joined in the Biffa SWFL North by Buchan, Dyce, Forfar Farmington, Glenrothes Strollers, Huntly, Inverurie Locos and Stonehaven.
The Biffa SWFL East will see Livingston and Falkirk development teams joined by Aberdour, Bonnyrigg Rose, Central Girls, Dunfermline Athletic, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh University Thistle, Linlithgow Rose, McDermid Ladies, Murieston United and Musselburgh Windsor.
The Biffa SWFL West has Alloa, Athena Glasgow, Bishopton, Clydebank Ladies, Cumbernauld Colts, Drumchapel United, Dunipace, Harmony Row and West Park United join SWPL club Motherwell’s development team.
Championship side Ayr United has a development side in the Biffa SWFL South, alongside Annan Athletic, Clark Drive, Cumnock Juniors, Dalbeattie Star, FC Flip The Mindset in the south of Glasgow, Kilwinning, Nithsdale Wanderers, Queen of the South and Stewarton United.
The league commences on January 15th and teams will play each other home and away. The top-placed team in each SWFL league (not including development sides) will then play each other in play-off finals, with the top three joining SWF League One next season.
One will be relegated from League One into their local SWFL League.
In League One, the top-placed two sides who meet Championship criteria will be promoted to the Championship, growing that league to ten teams. There will be no relegation from the Championship and the end of this season to accommodate the changes.
Fixtures will be published on the Scottish Women’s Football website ahead of the new season