National League North

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National League North
Vanarama National League North.png
Founded2004
CountryEngland
Number of teams22
Level on pyramid6
Step 2 (National League System)
Promotion toNational League
Relegation toNorthern Premier League Premier Division
Southern Football League Premier Division
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
FA Trophy
International cup(s)Europa League
(via FA Cup)
Current championsKing's Lynn Town
(2019–20 season)
WebsiteNational League
Current: 2020–21 season

The National League North, formerly Conference North (named the Vanarama National League North for sponsorship reasons), is a division of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with the National League South, it is at Step 2 of the National League System and the sixth overall tier of the English football league system. It consists of teams located in Northern England, Norfolk and the English Midlands. Since the start of the 2015–16 season, the league has been known as the National League North.[1] As part of a sponsorship deal with Vanarama, the National League North was renamed the Vanarama National League North.[1]

History[edit]

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 is to expand to 24 teams in 2021, when the bottom two clubs were to be relegated and four promoted from Step 3 after the 2020–21 season. Four will be relegated starting in 2022.[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. Promotions from Step 3 had yet to be discussed.[6]

Member clubs for 2020–21[edit]

The member clubs for the 2020–21 season are as follows:

The area covered by National League North is coloured in red. National League North teams also come from counties bordering National League South (purple).
Club Finishing position 2019–20
AFC Telford United 14th
Alfreton Town 13rd
Blyth Spartans 21st
Boston United 3rd
Brackley Town 4th
Bradford (Park Avenue) 22nd
Chester 6th
Chorley 24th (National League)
Curzon Ashton 20th
Darlington 10th
Farsley Celtic 11th
AFC Fylde 23rd (National League)
Gateshead 7th
Gloucester City 17th
Guiseley 9th
Hereford 16th
Kettering Town 19th
Kidderminster Harriers 15th
Leamington 18th
Southport 12th
Spennymoor Town 8th
York City 2nd

League champions[edit]

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 Fleetwood Town
2010–11 Alfreton Town AFC Telford United
2011–12 Hyde 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

League stadiums for 2020–21[edit]

The stadiums of all the teams in the league for the 2020–21 season are listed below:

Team Location Stadium Capacity
AFC Fylde Wesham Mill Farm 6,000
AFC Telford United Telford New Bucks Head 6,300
Alfreton Town Alfreton North Street 3,600
Blyth Spartans Blyth Croft Park 4,435
Boston United Boston Boston Community Stadium 5,000
Brackley Town Brackley St. James Park 3,500
Bradford (Park Avenue) Bradford Horsfall Stadium 3,500
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
Gateshead Gateshead Gateshead International Stadium 11,800
Gloucester City Gloucester Meadow Park 3,600
Guiseley Guiseley Nethermoor Park 4,200
Hereford Hereford Edgar Street 5,213
Kettering Town Kettering Latimer Park (groundshare with Burton Park Wanderers) 3,269
Kidderminster Harriers Kidderminster Aggborough 6,238
Leamington Leamington New Windmill Ground 2,300
Southport Southport Haig Avenue 6,008
Spennymoor Town Spennymoor The Brewery Field 6,000
York City York York Community Stadium 8,005


League records[edit]

Record home win Fleetwood Town 8–0 Redditch United, 14 November 2009[7]
Altrincham 8–0 Hinckley United, 17 November 2012[8]
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 – Southport (2004–05, 2009–10)
Most consecutive wins 15 games (21 Feb 2006 to 22 April 2006) – Northwich Victoria
Most consecutive clean sheets 10 games (30 Aug 2010 to 9 November 2010) – Boston United
Longest unbeaten run 30 games (15 Sep 2012 to 6 April 2013) – Chester
Largest Attendance 6311 (3 Mar 2019) – Stockport County

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BBC Sport – 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. 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. ^ "Fleetwood Town 8-0 Redditch Utd". BBC Sport. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Altrincham vs. Hinckley United 8 - 0". Soccerway. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  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.

External links[edit]