National League North

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]

National League North
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 championsStockport County
WebsiteNational League
2019–20 season


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 will expand to 24 teams in 2020, when the bottom two clubs will be relegated and four promoted from Step 3 after the 2019–20 season. Four will be relegated starting in 2021.[4]

Member clubs for 2019–20

The member clubs for the 2019–20 season are as follows:

Club Finishing position 2018–19
A.F.C. Telford United8th
Alfreton Town15th
Blyth Spartans6th
Boston United11th
Brackley Town3rd
Bradford (Park Avenue)7th
Curzon Ashton18th
Farsley Celtic1st in Northern Premier League Premier Division
GatesheadDemoted from National League Premier Division
Gloucester City17th in National League South (Transferred to National League North for 2019/20 season)
Kettering Town1st in Southern League Central Premier Division
Kidderminster Harriers10th
King's Lynn2nd in Southern League Central Premier Division (Won playoffs)
Spennymoor Town4th
York City12th

League champions

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

SeasonWinnerPlay-off Winner
2005–06Northwich VictoriaStafford Rangers
2006–07DroylsdenFarsley Celtic
2007–08Kettering TownBarrow
2009–10SouthportFleetwood Town
2010–11Alfreton TownA.F.C. Telford United
2011–12HydeNuneaton Town
2012–13ChesterF.C. Halifax Town
2013–14A.F.C. Telford UnitedAltrincham
2015–16Solihull MoorsNorth Ferriby United
2016–17A.F.C. FyldeF.C. Halifax Town
2017–18Salford CityHarrogate Town
2018–19Stockport CountyChorley

League stadiums for 2019/20

The stadiums of all the teams in the league for the 2019/20 season are listed below:

A.F.C. Telford United
Alfreton Town
Blyth Spartans
Boston United
Brackley Town
Bradford (PA)
Curzon Ashton
Farsley Celtic
Gloucester City
Kidderminster Harriers
King's Lynn
Spennymoor Town
York City
Locations of the 2019/20 National League North teams

Team Stadium Capacity Seated Capacity
A.F.C. Telford UnitedNew Bucks Head6,3002,200
Alfreton TownNorth Street3,6001,500
AltrinchamMoss Lane6,0851,323
Blyth SpartansCroft Park4,435560
Boston UnitedYork Street6,6431,826
Brackley TownSt. James Park3,500600
Bradford (Park Avenue)Horsfall Stadium3,5001,247
ChesterDeva Stadium5,3764,170
Curzon AshtonTameside Stadium4,000527
DarlingtonBlackwell Meadows3,299588
Farsley CelticThe Citadel3,900400
GatesheadGateshead International Stadium11,80011,800
Gloucester CityJubilee Stadium3,000300
GuiseleyNethermoor Park4,000500
HerefordEdgar Street4,9132,750
Kettering TownLatimer Park2,500332
Kidderminster HarriersAggborough6,2383,140
King's LynnThe Walks8,2001,200
LeamingtonNew Windmill Ground3,000250
SouthportHaig Avenue6,0081,660
Spennymoor TownThe Brewery Field6,000300
York CityBootham Crescent8,256[5]3,409[5]

League records

Record home win Fleetwood Town 8–0 Redditch United, 14 November 2009[6]
Altrincham 8–0 Hinckley United, 17 November 2012[7]
Record away win Redditch United 0–9 Boston United, 21 August 2010[8]
Highest-scoring game A.F.C. Fylde 9–2 Boston United, 19 November 2016[9]
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 – A.F.C. 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


  1. "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 - The 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. "York City: Bootham Crescent". Football Ground Guide. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  6. "Fleetwood Town 8-0 Redditch Utd". BBC Sport. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  7. "Altrincham vs. Hinckley United 8 - 0". Soccerway. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  8. "Redditch United 0-9 Boston United". BBC Sport. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  9. "AFC Fylde: 10 Things". F.C. Halifax Town. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
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