NIFL Championship

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NIFL Championship
NIFL Championship.png
Country Northern Ireland
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to NIFL Premiership
Relegation to NIFL Premier Intermediate League
Domestic cup(s) Irish Cup
League cup(s) Northern Ireland League Cup
Current champions Warrenpoint Town (2016–17)
2017–18 NIFL Championship

The Northern Ireland Football League Championship, known as the NIFL Bluefin Sport Championship for sponsorship reasons, is the second division of the Northern Ireland Football League, the national football league in Northern Ireland.

It was founded in 2008 as the Premier Intermediate League for members of the previous IFA Intermediate League that met the new stricter membership criteria,[1] though was marketed as the IFA Championship.[2] In 2009, it was extended to two divisions: Championship 1 and Championship 2 with promotion and relegation between the two.[3] In 2013, the Championship and IFA Premiership were replaced by a single Northern Ireland Football League, independent of the Irish Football Association (IFA).

Under reforms agreed by the NIFL clubs in 2014, from 2016-17, Championship 1 acquired senior status, continuing as the NIFL Championship, while Championship 2 continued as the Premier Intermediate League, retaining its intermediate status.[4]

Current NIFL Championship clubs (2017–18)[edit]

Club Location Stadium Capacity[5]
Ballyclare Comrades Ballyclare Dixon Park 1,800 (500 seated)
Dergview Castlederg Darragh Park 1,200
Harland & Wolff Welders Belfast Tillysburn Park 3,000 (500 seated)
Institute Drumahoe Riverside Stadium 3,110 (1,540 seated)
Knockbreda Belfast Breda Park 1,000
Larne Larne Inver Park 3,000
Limavady United Limavady Limavady Showgrounds 1,500
Loughgall Loughgall Lakeview Park 3,000 (250 Seated)
Lurgan Celtic Lurgan Knockramer Park 1,000
Newry City Newry Newry Showgrounds 2,275 (1,080 Seated)
PSNI Belfast Newforge Lane 478
Portadown Portadown Shamrock Park 2,770

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier Intermediate League (PIL)". Irish Football Association. irishfa.com. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "IFA Championship". Irish Football Association. irishfa.com. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Ladbrokes.com Championship 2009/10
  4. ^ Northern Ireland Football League (2014). NI Football League Restructure Proposal.
  5. ^ "Championship 2016/2017 - Venues". Scoresway. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 

General[edit]

  • Malcolm Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook (various editions)