THE appointment of Merthyr Tydfil boss Andy Beattie (pictured) as manager of the Welsh semi-professional side for May's Four Nations Championship is surely a massive kick in the teeth for the Welsh Premier.
Having decided not to renew former manager Tomi Morgan's contract, the Football Association of Wales offered the job to Caersws boss Micky Evans.
But Evans declined as he felt that he could not devote sufficient time to the task. Hence, the appointment of Beattie, with fellow Merthyr No. 2 John Relish as his assistant.
With the majority of the playing candidates likely to come from Wales's Premier League it is, to say the least, surprising that a manager whose side compete in England has been put in charge.
How the Merthyr duo are going to assess the talent at their disposal on a weekly basis when they will be in Weymouth, Welling and Weston-super-Mare is a mystery.
Does this mean that the national side will be packed with players who ply their trade over the border? If they are the best players for the job fair enough, but if players are left out because the management team has not seen them in action then that can hardly be good for Welsh football, never mind the Welsh Premier.
Not that Beattie fails on the credentials side, having led Merthyr to Dr Marten's Western Division promotion and the championship last season.
He also led Barry to Welsh league success and victory over Cardiff City in a Welsh Cup final.
Beattie also took lowly Caerleon from a struggling Welsh League division three outfit to top dogs in division one.
But surely the manager of the Welsh semi-professional team should be someone who week in, week out sees first hand the top non-league talent in Wales playing in the Principality's top non-league competition.
Not only do the FAW pay lip service to the Welsh Premier financially, but they have now awarded the top job in Welsh non-league football to a manager in the English pyramid system.
It hardly inspires confidence that the Welsh Premier is held in high esteem by the FAW.

[South Wales Echo]

15 December 2020