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 (Vanarama National League North for sponsorship reasons).
|Number of teams||24|
|Level on pyramid||6|
Step 2 (National League System)
|Promotion to||National League|
|Relegation to||Northern Premier League Premier Division|
Southern Football League Premier Division Central
|Domestic cup(s)||FA Cup|
|International cup(s)||Europa League |
(via FA Cup)
|Current champions||AFC Fylde (2nd title) |
|Current: 2022–23 National League North|
The longest tenured team currently competing in the National League North is Gloucester City, having been in the National League North since the 2009–10 season.
The Conference North was introduced in 2004 as part of a major restructuring of English non-League football. 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). 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. 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. Expansion would be at last implemented before the 2022–23 season when the bottom club was relegated and four promoted from Step 3.
Member clubs for 2023–24Edit
The member clubs for the 2023–24 season are as follows:
|Club||Finishing position 2022–23|
|Bishop's Stortford||1st (Isthmian League)|
|King's Lynn Town||2nd|
|Rushall Olympic||5th (Southern League)|
|Scunthorpe United||23rd (National League)|
|South Shields||1st (Northern Premier League)|
|Tamworth||1st (Southern League)|
|Warrington Town||2nd (Northern Premier League)|
The winners of the league title and the winners of the play-off final since the league's formation in 2004 are as follows:
League stadiums for 2022–23Edit
The home stadiums for all of the teams in the league for the 2022–23 season are listed below:
This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2018)
|Record home win||Chorley 9-0 Gloucester City, 4 September 2021|
|Record away win||Redditch United 0–9 Boston United, 21 August 2010|
|Highest-scoring game||AFC Fylde 9–2 Boston United, 19 November 2016|
|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||7,488 (21 May 2022) – York City (vs Boston United)|
- ^ a b "Football Conference to be renamed as National League". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- ^ "Football Conference – History". Football Conference. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- ^ "National League North 2017-18 Season Preview". Vanarama National League. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- ^ Edkins, Matt (17 April 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: FA outline second phase of Non-League restructuring". The Non-League Football Paper (Interview).
- ^ "Update on non-League, women's & grassroots football seasons". The Football Association. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
- ^ Osborn, Oliver (18 February 2021). "National League Statement | Outcome Of Written Resolutions". Vanarama National League. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
- ^ "National League: Football Association confirms promotion and relegation for 2021-22". BBC Sport. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
- ^ "Banbury United". Non-League Club Directory. Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
- ^ "Redditch United 0-9 Boston United". BBC Sport. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- ^ "AFC Fylde: 10 Things". FC Halifax Town. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2018.