Welsh Premier League clubs have decided to go Dutch having approved a new 32-fixture format at the league’s AGM in Llandudno.
Those clubs set to take part in the new look ‘Super 12’, including local duo Airbus and Bala Town, agreed that the Dutch Eredivisie model was the way forward.
Under the proposal, the clubs will play each other twice before a mid-season split, which will probably take place around the end of January.
Teams in the top six and bottom six will then play each other twice more to complete the 32 games, before play-offs between the clubs finishing in third to seventh place to decide the third Europa League spot.
If the Welsh Cup winners - who qualify automatically for the Europa League - are among the play-off places, the eighth club will also feature in the finale to the season.
Meanwhile, it was also confirmed that the FAW Premier Cup will not be revived next season, but that the Loosemores League Cup will be played on a straight knock-out basis with ties played over two legs from a regionalised draw up to and including the semi-finals.
The New Saints, Llanelli, Port Talbot and Bangor City will receive a bye into the quarter-finals.
The AGM also revealed the winners of the player of the season, young player of the season and manager of the season awards.
Ex-Connah’s Quay and current Bangor chief Nev Powell was rewarded for a third consecutive Welsh Cup triumph with the manager accolade, while Port Talbot’s Liam McCreesh took the player of the season and The New Saints’ Craig Jones won the young players trophy.
Former Wrexham attacker Jamie Reed, now with Bangor, was shortlisted for the young player of the season award, but was pipped by Wales U23 man Jones, while another former Red, Steve Evans, was edged out for player of the season by McCreesh.
Elements Cefn Druids boss Huw Griffiths has continued his rebuilding of the club by adding a further four new faces.
The most notable of the new acquisitions is former Bala Town midfielder Warren Duckett, while James Taylor is rejoining the club for his second spell, and Richard Williams-Cooke and Mark Harris have agreed deals.
Duckett, 26, was part of the Lakesiders’ squad that won promotion to the Welsh Premier League a year ago, making 24 appearances in the top flight last season, scoring once.
A former Lex XI midfielder, Duckett has plenty of Cymru Alliance experience, and manager Griffiths is delighted to be able to welcome him to the club.
“Warren is one player I really wanted. He is a big, big signing for us,” said Griffiths. “He has played for a top 10 Welsh Premier League side and is a local lad.”
See full story in the Leader