The League Management Committee is now in a position to issue a further update on applications from clubs wishing to join the NWCFL in season 2016-17.
Applications from clubs currently in Step 7 Leagues
Three clubs currently playing in Step 7 leagues submitted applications for promotion to Step 6 by the required deadline of 31st December 2015. The clubs were as follows:
Charnock Richard FC (West Lancashire League Premier Division)
Charnock Richard joined the West Lancashire League in 1993, and since then have won the Premier Championship seven times, four of those in the last four years, and have also enjoyed two Goldline Trophy victories at the Bolton Wanderers Stadium among other cup wins in recent years.
The club moved to Mossie Close on Charter Lane in 1968, and their club house was opened in 1988. A new ground has recently been developed on the opposite side of Charter Lane, known as Mossie Park.
They are currently second in the West Lancashire League Premier Division, 11 point behind league leaders Fulwood Amateurs but with four games in hand.
The club had a ground grading inspection carried out on the 30th January. Work was progressing well, and the expectation is that they will meet the required Grade H by 31st March.
Prestwich Heys FC (Manchester League Premier Division)
Prestwich Heys were founder members of the NWCFL in 1982, and last competed in the League in 1986 before ground grading issues at their old Grimshaws ground on Heys Road forced them to withdraw from the league.
Since then the club have competed in the Manchester League, and have moved to their current base at Sandgate Road.
The ground was renamed Adie Moran Park last year after their former player , manager and Chairman who was instrumental in so much of the development of the ground before his untimely death in 2007.
They are currently second in the Manchester League Premier Division, three points behind leaders Royton Town but with three games in hand.
The club had a ground grading visit on 30th January, and like Charnock Richard work is progressing well, and they are expected to meet Grade H by 31st March.
Sandbach United FC (Cheshire League Premier Division)
Sandbach United play in the Cheshire League Premier Division, and currently sit in 11th place in the league table.
They play their home games at Sandbach Community Football Centre and have over 40 teams based at the club ranging from Soccer School (for School Reception and Year 1) to Open Age and Vets teams.
A ground grading visit was carried out on 22nd January, which identified important work that would need to be carried out in order to meet the required Grade H. The club have indicated a willingness to the League Management Committee to meet the criteria by 31st March.
Applications from clubs outwith Step 7 Leagues
FC Oswestry Town:
FC Oswestry Town currently play in the Mercian Regional Football League Premier Division, which is not a member of the National League System. This is the same league that Whitchurch Alport played in, prior to joining the NWCFL.
The club are currently top of their league, and play their home games at Park Hall Stadium, Oswestry. They have a groundshare agreement with Welsh Premier League side New Saints, a club that is the product of a merger between Llansantffraid and the old Oswestry Town FC.
The stadium has an artificial Ligaturf pitch which is FIFA 2* approved, and has over 1,000 seats with planning permission granted to upgrade to 3,000 all-seater capacity. The ground hosted a Champions League qualifier in 2010, when New Saints played the League of Ireland Premier Division Champions Bohemians in the Second Qualifying Round second leg.
FC Oswestry Town are a FA Charter Standard Community Club with an aim to provide quality adult football in the English Pyramid. They are financially stable and have provided a Business Plan for 2016/17.
They have made steady progress over the past five seasons and believe the time is right to move on and play at a higher level. They also believe that the NWCFL would provide the best route for the Club, as club officials informed NWCFL representatives that it is easier to travel northwards along the M6 corridor, than towards Birmingham and the Midlands, for away fixtures.
City of Liverpool FC:
The Club is a NEW Club who have a one season groundshare agreement with a year’s option at Bootle FC. They are not a Club formed by disillusioned supporters, but wish to address the fact that there is no Club in the Liverpool City boundary which is a member of the National League System at Step 6 or above.
They have ambitions to acquire their own ground and are in advanced discussion with the parties concerned. They have in the region of 400 members and expect to attract an average home gate of between 150 & 200 (conservative estimate). They have submitted a constitution, business plan and financial projections.
The applications from both clubs are supported by the League Management Committee and will now be forwarded onto the Football Association for their consideration. An official grading visit will now be arranged at FC Oswestry Town very soon.
Both FC Oswestry Town and City of Liverpool FC have been informed that the Football Association have the final say as to whether the Club/s will be placed in our Step 6 Division, and that this will be dependent on whether or not there are any vacancies, after promotion and relegation issues to and from Step 7 Leagues were settled.