Preview: 2023/24 National League North

On August 5, the 2023/24 National League North season will begin.

Warrington Town make their debut in the division with a trip to Southport, following last season’s promotion from the Northern Premier League.

This time around, the Yellows will compete alongside 23 other teams, all fighting it out to move within one step of the Football League. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about each of the club’s National League North rivals in 2023/24.

Alfreton Town 

Photo credit: Alfreton Town
  • Nickname: The Reds
  • Stadium: Impact Arena
  • Capacity: 3,600 (1,500 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 5th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 83 miles

Based in Derbyshire, Alfreton Town have solidified their position as a competitive National League North side over the last few seasons, culminating in the Reds reaching the play-offs following a 5th-placed finish last time around.

The club have already made a significant number of signings this summer, and should their trend of improvement continue, you can expect them to be amongst the top half of the table once more come the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

Banbury United 

  • Nickname: The Puritans
  • Stadium – Spencer Stadium
  • Capacity: 3,116
  • Last season’s league position: 17th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 126 miles

Despite being all the way down in Oxfordshire, Banbury United will once again compete in the National League North following a 17th-placed finish last season.

The Puritans were promoted to the division for the first time ever following the 2021/22 campaign and impressed by staying afloat at the first time of asking.

Bishop’s Stortford 

  • Nickname: The Blues
  • Stadium : Woodside Park
  • Capacity: 4,525 (525 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 1st (Isthmian Premier League)
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 195 miles

Following a six-year absence from the National League North, Bishop’s Stortford make their return to the division this season after being promoted as champions of the Isthmian Premier League.

The Blues tallied 88 points last campaign, with centre forward Frankie Merrifield scoring 22 league goals, however, Bishops head up a division without their goal scorer as Merrifield was snapped up by Billericay Town.

Blyth Spartans 

  • Nickname: The Spartans
  • Stadium: Croft Park
  • Capacity: 4,435
  • Last season’s league position: 19th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 171 miles

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Blyth Spartans have struggled to progress up the National League North table, finishing 19th for the past two consecutive seasons.

Although form throughout recent seasons has been below par, should the Spartans channel their rich history of FA Cup spirit and success and apply it to the league, improvements are possible this campaign.

Boston United 

Photo credit: Boston United
  • Nickname: The Pilgrims
  • Stadium: Boston Community Stadium
  • Capacity: 5,061
  • Last season’s league position: 15th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 142 miles

Playing their football down in Lincolnshire, Boston United are another club who are regulars in the National League North.

Former Aston Villa assistant manager Ian Culverhouse took the Boston hot seat back in 2022 following a three-year post at King’s Lynn Town and a short stint at Kettering Town. A 15th-placed finish last saw them finish middle of the pack, but the Pilgrims will be hungry to push for the play-offs under such experienced management.

Brackley Town 

  • Nickname: The Saints
  • Stadium: St James Park
  • Capacity: 3,500 (300 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 4th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 132 miles

Brackley Town were only fingertips away from achieving promotion last season, following a 4th-placed finish. The Saints beat Gloucester City on penalties and Chester away from home to secure a spot in the play-off final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Kidderminster Harriers.

Brackley have been loitering around promotion for several seasons now, creating a large expectation that the 2023/24 campaign may be the one.


  • Nickname: The Bucks
  • Stadium: Silverlands
  • Capacity: 4,000
  • Last season’s league position: 11th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 37 miles

After winning the Northern Premier League in 2021/22, Buxton finished their first-ever season in the National League North in an impressive 11th place, only one point away from a play-off spot.

The Bucks acquired the same number of wins as the aforementioned Brackley Town (18), meaning the newly promoted side had won as many as strong favourites for promotion at the first time of asking.


  • Nickname: The Seals
  • Stadium: Deva Stadium
  • Capacity: 6,500
  • Last season’s league position: 3rd
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 25 miles

Under the youngest manager in the league, Callum McIntyre, Chester underwent a resurgence last season, finishing third, accumulating 84 points and enduring a 17-game unbeaten run.

Forward Kurt Willoughby caught the headlines for the Seals, scoring 20 league goals, and attracting interest from Oldham Athletic, where he eventually would put pen to paper in June 2023.

Chester have looked to combat his departure with the permanent editions of Charlie Caton from Shrewsbury Town and Elliott Whitehouse from Scunthorpe United.


Photo credit: Chorley
  • Nickname: The Magpies
  • Stadium: Victory Park
  • Capacity: 4,300 (975 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 12th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 29 miles

Chorley were another side that performed impressively throughout the 2022/23 National League North season but narrowly missed out on a play-off spot by two points due to the highly competitive nature of last season’s campaign.

The Magpies have been playoff contenders for years now, stretching back to before the pandemic in 2020. With former Blackpool and Crystal Palace player Andy Preece at the helm, Chorley fans will expect to see them back around the top seven this season.

Curzon Ashton 

  • Nickname: The Nash
  • Stadium: Tameside Stadium
  • Capacity: 3,000
  • Last season’s league position: 13th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 27 miles

The Nash achieved promotion to the National League North back in 2014/15 and have remained there ever since, turning out mid-table finishes but more importantly laying the foundations to cement themselves as a side that is National League North level.

Last season, Curzon also finished a matter of points away from a place in the play-offs, and now with additions such as Cam Mason, Alex Kenyon and a change in management team, the club will be aiming for more.


  • Nickname: The Quakers
  • Stadium: Blackwell Meadows
  • Capacity: 3,300
  • Last season’s league position: 10th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 129 miles

For the Quakers, they will also be aiming to build off a solid season last time out at Blackwell Meadows, where they finished 10th, but only one point off 7th place and a promotion play-off spot.

For Darlington, if they can pick up where they left off, this upcoming season will be all about fine margins. The club recently added full-back Jordan Windass – brother of Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Windass – on loan from Oldham Athletic, in the hope of bolstering their squad.

Farsley Celtic 

  • Nickname: The Celt Army
  • Stadium: The Citadel
  • Capacity: 4,000 (300 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 20th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 61 miles

Now managed by former Brentford, Birmingham and Bolton forward Clayton Donaldson, Farsley Celtic will have to improve on last year’s points tally, should they wish to remain in the National League North come matchday 46.

One point was all that separated Farsley and relegated Kettering Town. The club will be hoping that signings such as Marley Blair from the Icelandic Premier League will help reignite their squad ahead of the new campaign.

Gloucester City 

Photo credit: Gloucester City
  • Nickname: The Tigers
  • Stadium: Meadow Park
  • Capacity: 4,000 (762 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 7th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 127 miles

The Tigers will be hoping to quickly shake off their play-off heartbreak last season – when they lost on penalties to Brackley Town – and continue their impressive form from last year.

Since their return to the National League North in 2019 following a brief stint in the southern section, Gloucester City have been making steady progress in terms of their league finish over the last few years, jumping from 17th to 7th over the space of two seasons since the conclusion of the pandemic.


  • Nickname: The Bulls
  • Stadium: Edgar Street
  • Capacity: 4,940
  • Last season’s league position: 16th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 115 miles

Hereford will be hoping to break the cycle of unnoteworthy mid-table finishes under Paul Caddis this coming season.

Before COVID-19, the club finished 17th, then 12th following the 2021/22 season and 16th last time around.

They will hope the signing of former Birmingham City and Macclesfield forward Koby Arthur will propel them to a higher-placed finish in the table this campaign.

King’s Lynn Town 

  • Nickname: The Linnets
  • Stadium: The Walks
  • Capacity: 8,200 (1,200 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 2nd
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 165 miles

Perhaps one of the favourites to win the National League North next season, and for good reason.

Kings Lynn had a fantastic campaign last time out under manager Mark Hughes, tallying 93 points – only two behind eventual champions AFC Fylde.

The Linnets have shown to be decisive in their recruitment this summer, with the additions of Ismael Botelho Fatadjo, Marley Santos Delgado, Jack Smith and Sion Spence, with the hope of getting themselves promoted this time out. 

Peterborough Sports 

  • Nickname: The Turbines
  • Stadium: Lincoln Road
  • Capacity: 2,300
  • Last season’s league position: 14th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 158 miles

After achieving promotion to the National League North at the end of the 2021/22 season for the first ever time, Peterborough Sports will be looking to continue to cement themselves as a NLN-standard club.

A 14th-placed finish for the Turbines saw them comfortably avoid a relegation battle whilst only being 10 points from the play-off battle. Peterborough have also begun to strengthen their squad in preparation for next year, with the addition of forward Ben Fowkes.

Rushall Olympic

  • Nickname: The Pics
  • Stadium: Dales Lane
  • Capacity: 1,980
  • Last season’s league position: 5th (Southern Premier Central League)
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 68 miles

Another first-timer, Rushall Olympic made history when they achieved promotion to the National League North last season, after finishing in 5th place before winning the Southern Central play-offs.

The team based in Walsall possess a real underdog nature which may be crucial in helping them stay up come the end of the season.

In comparison to the rest of the National League North, the club has a smaller social media following and stadium capacity, but it won’t discourage them from striving for a successful season.

Scarborough Athletic 

  • Nickname: The Seadogs
  • Stadium: Flamingo Land Stadium
  • Capacity: 3,251 (586 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 8th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 132 miles

Scarborough’s first season back in the National League North may have been a great indication of things to come.

A Phoenix club, the Seadogs marked their return back up the football pyramid with an impressive 8th-placed finish, ultimately missing out on a chance to compete in the play-offs on goal difference.

With a determined fan base dreaming of getting their club back to where they once were, Scarborough are serious promotion contenders this coming season. 

Scunthorpe United 

  • Nickname: The Iron
  • Stadium: Glanford park
  • Capacity: 9,088
  • Last season’s league position: 23rd (National League)
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 103 miles

Back-to-back relegations have saw Scunthorpe United enter freefall.

In League Two only two years ago, the Iron suffered two dull seasons in both League Two and the National League, picking up only 12 wins combined in both campaigns.

They now emerge as a big fish in a small pond, and Scunthorpe, now competing in the National League North, are the bookie’s favourite to win the whole thing.

South Shields 

Photo credit: South Shields
  • Nickname: The Mariners
  • Stadium: 1st Cloud Arena
  • Capacity: 4,000
  • Last season’s league position: 1st (Northern Premier League)
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 163 miles

For the first time since 1974, South Shields are back in the National League North.

After winning the Northern Premier League last time around, the Mariners will be hoping to maintain their form of last campaign moving through the 2023/24 season.

Under the management of former player and captain Julio Arca, an U20 World Cup winner, Shields will be eager to bring more success up to Tyneside.


  • Nickname: The Sandgrounders
  • Stadium: Haig Avenue
  • Capacity: 5,414
  • Last season’s league position: 18th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 35 miles

A steady ship, Southport will be playing their football in the National League North for a seventh consecutive season this time around.

However, last year saw the Sandgrounders’ place in the division in jeopardy, as they finished one point adrift from relegation. The club will be hoping that the return of forward and fan favourite Marcus Carver can be the catalyst for a more enjoyable campaign.

Spennymoor Town 

  • Nickname: The Moors
  • Stadium: The Brewery Field
  • Capacity: 4,300
  • Last season’s league position: 9th
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 139 miles

Spennymoor Town were another side that pushed it to the limit last season for a place in the play-offs, ultimately missing out due to goal difference.

The Moors have been up and amongst the top seven for the last three seasons (before and after the covid-19 break), and based on their trend of improvement, they can be expected to be amongst the play-off places once more in 2023/24.


  • Nickname: The Lambs
  • Stadium: The Lamb Ground
  • Capacity: 4,963 (518 seated)
  • Last season’s league position: 1st (Southern Premier Central League)
  • Distance to Cantilever Park: 78 miles

The Lambs accomplished promotion last season after a compelling title race in the Southern Central Premier League.

After themselves and Coalville Town both finished on 89 points, Tamworth took the top spot courtesy of a superior goal difference.

It is the first time the club has played in the National League North since 2017/18, and they will be hoping to remain there for the foreseeable future.

Buy your season ticket ahead of the 2023/24 National League North season!

Leave a Reply