In November 2020, Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought a struggling Welsh soccer team, Wrexham AFC. The two documented their first season as club owners in a docuseries called “Welcome to Wrexham” which was featured on FX.
Season one of the series (which covered the men’s team's 2021-2022 campaign) showcased the teamin its quest for promotion from the National League, the fifth tier of the English Soccer Pyramid, to the English Football League Two. It was filled with many heartwarming and up-and-down moments, including the teams' loss in the promotion playoffs at Wembley Stadium.
However, while season two of the show illustrates the team's 2022-2023 season with another chance to get promoted to the English Football League Two, the season also focuses on Wrexham's Women’s side and their 2022-2023 season.
The women's squad plays in the Adran North League, one of Wales's non-paid amateur women's soccer leagues. If the team wins the league, they will play the winner of the Adran South League for a chance to move up to the Adran Premier League, which is a semi-professional women's soccer league and the highest professional women's soccer league in Wales. This league also pays its players.
Wrexham Women’s team is comprised of many talented players, including Amber Lightfoot, Erin Lovett, Delyth Morgan, Lili Jones, and Rosie Huges, who is one of the team's leading goal scorers.
The docuseries also explains that because teams in the Adran North League don't pay their players, many of the members of Wrexham’s womens team have to get a second job to make a living. One of the episodes showed Rosie Huges working at a prison in Wrexham, the largest in the UK, and Lili Jones working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant.
The show shed light on the struggles faced in women’s soccer. Wrexham specifically play their matches at Rhos Aelwyds’s Gorund in Rhos, a satellite town just outside Wrexham. The soccer field does have one stand, but it is closed off to the public, leaving onlookers with only a metal barrier that surrounds the field for viewing. Players have also complained about the field's playing surface, with many returning to the locker room after games encased in dirt and mud.
Despite their challenges, the women’s side clinched the Adran North League by beating Rhyl FC 11-1. With the win, the team advanced to play Briton Ferry Llansawel, winner of the Adran South League, in the promotion playoffs. Wrexham won the match 1-0, promoting them to the Adran Premier League.
Currently, during the 2023-24 season, the Wrexham women’s team is in third place in the Adran Premier League with a record of 4-1-1 and 13 points on the season.
When it comes to professional sports, a lot of times, women's leagues, no matter what sport it is and where in the world it is being played, get overlooked, so to see two Hollywood actors showing their support for women's sports and showing it to a broad audience across the world is very commendable.