Manly United has competed in the NSW Premier League since 2004–05 when they were elevated after winning the Super League Division, never actually making it into the old – now defunct – National Soccer League (NSL). The club was previously called Manly Warringah Dolphins, but changed its name in 2004 following promotion. Their ground has always been Cromer Park, though a popular local nickname is Hackett Hive in tribute to ex-player Andrew Hackett's notorious "bee-like energy" in midfield (who like Lucas Neill left for English Football, though with less success). Manly United is considered an important side in the NSWPL, as it is based on a geographic area, rather than founded by a single ethnic group like some other ex-NSL clubs. The Club is closely affiliated with the Manly Warringah Football Association, the second largest community Football Association in Australia.
Since 2006 ex-Manly junior Lucas Neill to provide opportunities for up and coming footballers from his junior club.  Each year the scholarship was awarded to a different young player from Manly to trial in Europe. The scholarship was discontinued from 2014.