“The pandemic has offered an opportunity to shift everything across, and if you asked a footballer if they would play this year between April and October they would bite your hand off.”
Wales’ all time domestic leading goalscorer believes the footballing authorities could have taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to trial summer football in the country.
No footballers below the JD Cymru Premier have kicked a ball since last season was curtailed back at the start of the first Covid lockdown in March.
And with the current restrictions now back in place, it looks unlikely that many leagues will be completed this season.
The idea of summer football in Wales to increase attendances and aid European progression has long been talked about in the domestic game.
And Marc Lloyd-Williams believes this year would have been the perfect time to trial the idea across the whole of the domestic system.
He said the FAW may have ‘missed the boat’ on the idea, but he believes if you offered a footballer the chance to play this year between April and November, they would bite your hand off.
“I think they have missed the boat with Covid,” insisted Lloyd-Williams, who scored 319 goals in 467 appearances in the league.
“They could have finished the Welsh Premier after 22 games and then gone to summer football.
“The whole of Wales has not kicked a ball apart from the Welsh Premier, so it would be an ideal opportunity to shift all football in Wales between April and the end of October or November.
“It would give you good summer nights, it would increase attendances and it may entice a few players on loan.
“I think there would be a stronger case for progressing in the Europa League and the new tier three that UEFA are bringing in.
“Dundalk and Shamrock play summer football and they have made it into the Europa League group stages and that is a big financial carrot for clubs.”
The all time leading goal scorer believes the big gap that the pandemic has offered would have been an ideal time to shift the whole of Welsh football across to the summer on a five year trial.
“I’ve said it for a number of years now that there is no harm in trying something,” added the former striker.
“I understand a few years ago it would be difficult, but I think now the FAW run everything from tier one to tier five.
“The pandemic has offered an opportunity to shift everything across, and if you asked a footballer if they would play this year between April and October they would bite your hand off.
“Players and coaches are desperate to get back on the football field.
“Do it on a five year trial or something and if doesn’t work then go back.
“That is my opinion but it takes more than one person to make something happen. The FAW may have looked at it, I don’t know, but if I was in charge that’s what I would have looked at.”
The striker turned broadcaster and college lecturer has always been a big advocate of the league in its current 12 team format, and he doesn’t feel that needs to change.
He believes that despite the criticism it gets, it makes the league exciting from the opening day to the final day.
“I think the system is interesting because it gives everyone something to play for,” insisted the former Bangor hitman.
“The bottom six and the top six all have something to play for, whereas if you went back to 18 then you’d have sides in mid table who can’t do anything for the latter part of the season.
“But with the split, there is always something that goes down to the last day whether it is the play offs or relegation.”