Wales in Europe: 2024/25 Coefficient Preview

The 2024/25 European season is quickly approaching, with 236 clubs set to compete in UEFA’s continental club competitions this season.

With the first qualifying round draws a little more than a week away, Extratime Talk will be providing a comprehensive coefficient preview. Between now and then, each country will be previewed, and all clubs participating in Europe for the 2024/25 season are discussed.

In these articles, we will provide analyses of what to expect from each country in Europe. We will explore what is on the line from a coefficient standpoint, and the keys to succeeding, in that country’s case.

The 28th article in this preview puts the spotlight on Wales. Here is what we can expect from the Welsh clubs in the 2024/25 European season.

Wales In Europe: Country Profile

Previous Season Coefficient (Rank)0.625 (51st)
Previous Season’s 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)5.791 (52nd)
Starting 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)4.791 (50th)

It has been an underwhelming last two years for Welsh football in Europe. No Welsh side has progressed more than one round in either of the last two seasons. Just four wins have come in that time, with the 2023/24 being an all-time low for Welsh football. The 0.625 points picked up was their worst ever, with only four countries earning less than that.

However, this year could be different for Wales. For the first time 2021/22, the country will have all three of The New Saints, Connah’s Quay, and Bala Town in Europe. The trio will be joined by a debutant in Caernarfon. The country will also start the season in 50th spot, and will look to avoid dropping any farther than that.

Wales In Europe: Club Profile

ClubQualified AsRound of EntryTotal European SeasonsLast Season’s Performance5-Year Club Coefficient (2023/24)5-Year Country Coefficient Contribution, 2023/24 (%)
The New SaintsDomestic ChampionUCL Q119UECL Q28.5002.750 (47.48%)
Connah’s QuayCup WinnerUECL Q18N/A5.5000.875 (15.11%)
Bala TownDomestic Third PlaceUECL Q19UECL Q13.5000.833 (14.39%)
CaernarfonDomestic Playoff Tournament WinnerUECL Q1DebutN/A1.158N/A

The New Saints has won 12 of the last 14 JD Cymru Premier titles, and a third in a row. They have dominated Welsh football, with last year’s win by 33 points over the nearest challengers showing that. They will enter the Champions League first qualifying round. Yet, for all their success at the domestic level, it has seldom translated on the continental side. TNS has only reached Q3 in Europe thrice, and the playoff round once. They will look to do better in this summer’s qualifying, especially as a seeded team.

Connah’s Quay denied TNS a domestic treble last year, handing them their only loss in domestic play in the Welsh Cup final. This will be their eight year of European football. Connah’s Quay has never gone farther than Q2 in Europe, winning just two ties all-time. They will be seeded in the UECL Q1 draw, which could help them in that regard.

Bala Town missed out on Europe last season, but returns after a third place finish in the league. Just like Connah’s Quay, Bala has had virtually no success in UEFA club competition. The only time they advanced in Europe was in the 2019/20 Europa League, where they beat Valletta in a single-legged match. That means that they have never successfully negotiated a two-legged tie in Europe. The closest they came in their last appearance, where they lost on penalties to Sligo Rovers.

Caernarfon is Wales’ other representative in Europe. They managed to win the European playoff mini-tournament, pulling off two upsets to clinch Wales’ last UECL spot. This will be their maiden voyage into a continental club competition, joining Bala Town as an unseeded team in Q1. They will look to do better than Penybont did last summer, who fell to FC Santa Coloma in what was also other their European debut.

Wales’ Season Ambitions

For Wales, there is one thing that matters most this season: finishing 50th or better. That is the only goal they have this term, and seeing how close they are to 51st place Montenegro, all four clubs will need to perform at their best to stay in the top 50.

This season, Wales will have 1.500 points to defend. Seeing that they only managed to collect a tad more than that total in their last two seasons combined, reaching in this year could be a challenge. Wales should aim for 1.250 points this season, which would take their five-year total to 6.000 points. That would most likely be enough for them to remain out of the bottom five.

What a Successful Season Looks Like for Wales

From a performance standpoint, Wales should be happy if more than one team wins a European tie this summer. That, combined with at least one club making Q3, would be a successful season for them. Anything less than that should be seen as a failure.

Looking at things from a coefficient perspective, Wales should see anything over 1.000 points as a good year. Although, looking at the teams they have in Europe, they really should be aiming for closer to 2.000 points. If Wales is to move out of the bottom five this season, and for the upcoming years, a 2.000-point haul should become a regularity.

What to Expect From Wales in 2024/25

Between TNS, Connah’s Quay, and Bala Town, they have combined for nearly 80% of Wales’ coefficient haul over the last five years. Their success in Europe, especially TNS’, is key to Wales’ success, or failure, in the coefficient rankings come the end of the season.

Realistically, Wales really should not be worrying about avoiding the bottom five this season, given they have their near-strongest possible lineup of clubs in Europe. Of course, it is never so easy.

It will take a big effort from all of the clubs in order for Wales to succeed in Europe this term. The potential is there, but it is now a matter of putting it all out there. Regarding expectations, Wales will certainly struggle to remain outside of the bottom five. If they do succeed in avoiding the bottom five, it will likely be due to the other countries around them not doing enough, rather than the Welsh clubs doing something special. So, expect Wales to just avoid the bottom five, but do not be surprised if they end up in 51st or 52nd spot at the end of the season.

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