National League North
Founded2004
CountryEngland
Number of teams24
Level on pyramid6
Step 2 (National League System)
Promotion toNational League
Relegation toNorthern Premier League Premier Division
Southern Football League Premier Division Central
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
FA Trophy
International cup(s)Europa League
(via FA Cup)
Current championsTamworth (2nd title)
(2023–24)
Most championships
WebsiteNational League
Current: 2024–25 National League North

The National League North, formerly the Conference North, is a division of the National League in England, immediately below the National League division. Along with the National League South, it is at the second level of the National League System, and at the sixth tier overall of the English football league system. It consists of teams mostly located in Northern England, the English Midlands and East Anglia. In addition, it can include a small number of teams from the northern-most parts of the South West and South East. Since the start of the 2015–16 season, the league has been known as the National League North.[1]

History

The Conference North was introduced in 2004 as part of a major restructuring of English non-League football.[2] The champions are automatically promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs involving the teams finishing in second to seventh place (expanded from four to six teams in the 2017–18 season).[3] The three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues. Teams from this division, as well as from the National League South, enter the FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round.

For sponsorship reasons, the division was known as the Nationwide North from its formation in 2004 until 2007, when it was renamed the Blue Square North. In 2010 it was renamed the Blue Square Bet North. When the Blue Square sponsorship ended in 2013, it was renamed the Skrill North until the 2014–15 season, when it was renamed the Vanarama North. A further name change followed in 2015, when the division was renamed the Vanarama National League North.

The National League North was scheduled to expand to 24 teams in 2021.[4][5] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in England, the 2020–21 National League North season was curtailed and voided after written resolutions were put to a vote. No teams were relegated.[6] Expansion would be at last implemented before the 2022–23 season when the bottom club was relegated and four promoted from Step 3.[7]

Member clubs for 2023–24

The member clubs for the 2023–24 season are as follows:

Division of Level 6 teams by English Counties (2022–23)
Club Finishing position 2022–23
Alfreton Town 5th
Banbury United 17th
Bishop's Stortford 1st (Isthmian League)
Blyth Spartans 19th
Boston United 15th
Brackley Town 4th
Buxton 11th
Chester 3rd
Chorley 12th
Curzon Ashton 13th
Darlington 10th
Farsley Celtic 20th
Gloucester City 7th
Hereford 16th
King's Lynn Town 2nd
Peterborough Sports 14th
Rushall Olympic 5th (Southern League)
Scarborough Athletic 8th
Scunthorpe United 23rd (National League)
Southport 18th
South Shields 1st (Northern Premier League)
Spennymoor Town 9th
Tamworth 1st (Southern League)
Warrington Town 2nd (Northern Premier League)

League champions

Conference North Trophy awarded to Southport, 2009–10 season.

The winners of the league title and the winners of the play-off final since the league's formation in 2004 are as follows:

Season Winner Play-off winner
2004–05 Southport Altrincham
2005–06 Northwich Victoria Stafford Rangers
2006–07 Droylsden Farsley Celtic
2007–08 Kettering Town Barrow
2008–09 Tamworth Gateshead
2009–10 Southport (2) Fleetwood Town
2010–11 Alfreton Town AFC Telford United
2011–12 Hyde United Nuneaton Town
2012–13 Chester FC Halifax Town
2013–14 AFC Telford United Altrincham
2014–15 Barrow Guiseley
2015–16 Solihull Moors North Ferriby United
2016–17 AFC Fylde FC Halifax Town
2017–18 Salford City Harrogate Town
2018–19 Stockport County Chorley
2019–20 King's Lynn Town Altrincham
2020–21 None, season curtailed and voided
2021–22 Gateshead York City
2022–23 AFC Fylde (2) Kidderminster Harriers
2023–24 Tamworth (2) Boston United

League stadiums for 2023–24

The home stadiums for all of the teams in the league for the 2023–24 season are listed below:

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Alfreton Town Alfreton North Street 3,600
Banbury United Banbury Spencer Stadium 6,500[8]
Bishop's Stortford Bishop's Stortford Woodside Park 4,525
Blyth Spartans Blyth Croft Park 4,435
Boston United Boston Boston Community Stadium 5,000
Brackley Town Brackley St. James Park 3,500
Buxton Buxton The Silverlands 5,200
Chester Chester Deva Stadium 6,500
Chorley Chorley Victory Park 4,100
Curzon Ashton Ashton-under-Lyne Tameside Stadium 4,000
Darlington Darlington Blackwell Meadows 3,300
Farsley Celtic Farsley The Citadel 3,900
Gloucester City Gloucester Meadow Park 4,000
Hereford Hereford Edgar Street 5,213
King's Lynn Town King's Lynn The Walks 8,200
Peterborough Sports Peterborough Lincoln Road 2,300
Rushall Olympic Walsall (Rushall) Dales Lane 2,000
Scarborough Athletic Scarborough Flamingo Land Stadium 3,251
Scunthorpe United Scunthorpe Glanford Park 9,088
Southport Southport Haig Avenue 6,008
South Shields South Shields 1st Cloud Arena 3,500
Spennymoor Town Spennymoor The Brewery Field 6,000
Tamworth Tamworth The Lamb Ground 3,269
Warrington Town Warrington Cantilever Park 3,500

League records

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "National League North" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Record home win Chorley 9-0 Gloucester City, 4 September 2021
Record away win Redditch United 0–9 Boston United, 21 August 2010[9]
Highest-scoring game AFC Fylde 9–2 Boston United, 19 November 2016[10]
Most points in a season 107 points – Chester (2012–13)
Most wins in a season 34 – Chester (2012–13)
Fewest defeats in a season 3 – Chester (2012–13)
Most goals scored in a season 109 – AFC Fylde (2016–17)
Largest positive goal difference 71 – Chester (2012–13)
Most league titles 2 – AFC Fylde (2016–17, 2022–23) and Southport (2004–05, 2009–10)
Most consecutive wins 15 games (21 February 2006 to 22 April 2006) – Northwich Victoria
Most consecutive clean sheets 10 games (30 August 2010 to 9 November 2010) – Boston United
Longest unbeaten run 30 games (15 September 2012 to 6 April 2013) – Chester
Largest attendance 8,036 (27 April 2024) – Scunthorpe United (vs Boston)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Football Conference to be renamed as National League". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Football Conference – History". Football Conference. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  3. ^ "National League North 2017-18 Season Preview". Vanarama National League. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  4. ^ Edkins, Matt (17 April 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: FA outline second phase of Non-League restructuring". The Non-League Football Paper (Interview).
  5. ^ "Update on non-League, women's & grassroots football seasons". The Football Association. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  6. ^ Osborn, Oliver (18 February 2021). "National League Statement | Outcome Of Written Resolutions". Vanarama National League. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  7. ^ "National League: Football Association confirms promotion and relegation for 2021-22". BBC Sport. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Banbury United". Non-League Club Directory. Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  9. ^ "Redditch United 0-9 Boston United". BBC Sport. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  10. ^ "AFC Fylde: 10 Things". FC Halifax Town. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2018.