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Wrexham’s co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney waged a battle with the Vanarama National League last season over streaming service options for domestic and international fans

This time around, ‘maximum effort’ wasn’t required, nor a cheeky tweet from Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, for Wrexham fans to get a streaming service up and running.

The club announced on Friday that, due to popular demand amplified by the recent Welcome to Wrexham docuseries, all Wrexham Women fixtures not on TV will be streamed by the club via iPlayer.

The announcement arrived to immense fanfare shortly after the Red Dragons suffered their first defeat of the season in a sobering 3-0 loss to reigning Adran Premier champions Cardiff City Women.

Wrexham had enjoyed a fine start to their new top-flight life as they pushed Swansea City to a thrilling 3-3 draw on opening weekend before thrashing Barry Town United 5-0.

Wrexham’s home matches, held at the Rock Stadium seven miles south of the Racecourse Ground, have been defined by a raucous and ardent support similar to their men’s sides. The 3-0 defeat to the Bluebirds watched by a crowd of more than 700, larger than any other match over the weekend.

The women’s side are growing more accustomed to swelling support having seen out their Invincibles season in front of a record 10,000 fans at the Racecourse.

But Wrexham’s zealous fan base reaches far beyond the borders of the small working-class town, with devoted fans ranging from New Zealand to Missouri tuning in to catch a glimpse of the club’s women’s team’s journey. More than 15,000 tuned into YouTube to watch Wrexham Women’s promotion play-off victory over Briton Ferry last season.

Co-chairmen Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been steadfast in their mission to make Wrexham “the best women’s team in Wales, in the shortest period practically possible”.

The implementation of a landmark semi-professional operation following last season’s promotion-clinching campaign represented the first steps in embarking on that journey, as has pushing the standards of women’s top-flight football in Wales. Wrexham became the first team to train three days per week and use the same facilities and sponsors as their men’s side.

In a bid to grow the noise around the team on and off the pitch, Reynolds and McElhenney also dedicated episodes to the women’s promotion campaign in the latest season of their award-winning docuseries.

And in the latest show of support, the club announced that every fixture of the women’s club will be available for streaming this season via the club’s iPlayer account, starting with Sunday’s Bute Energy Welsh Cup fixture against CPD Pwllheli.

Rosie Hughes celebrates putting Wrexham 2-0 up at the Genero Adran Premier fixture between Wrexham AFC Women and Swansea City Ladies at The Rock

The news naturally evokes memories of last year’s lengthy saga between Wrexham’s new ownership and the Vanarama National League as the two sides warred over centralised streaming services options for the fifth-tier of English football.

Reynolds was particularly critical of the National League’s ban on clubs streaming matches domestically or internationally, dubbing the decision “truly baffling”.

Taking to Twitter, Reynolds wrote: “After months of maximum effort, the decision (through inaction of the Vanarama National League) to not allow domestic/international streaming of matches of Wrexham and the other clubs in the league is truly baffling, depriving every team in our league the chance to expand the fanbase while adding to league revenue [which] benefits everyone.

“This is a spotlight and a chance and we ask the Vanarama National League to take it.”

Reynolds also called on league sponsors Vanarama and BT Sport “to help them (the league) find the wisdom” to change the rules, a proposal that was eventually accomplished four months later.

The co-owners were spared similar stress this time around.

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