Northern League (New Zealand)

The Northern League is a semi-professional New Zealand association football competition. It is a top-tier competition during the winter season, and sits at step two overall.

Northern League
New Zealand Northern League.png
CountryNew Zealand New Zealand
ConfederationOFC (Oceania)
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid2
Feeder toNational League
Relegation toNRFL Division 1
Current championsAuckland City (2nd title)
Most championshipsBay Olympic
Takapuna AFC
Central United (4 titles)
WebsiteAuckland Football Federation
Current: 2022 Northern League

The Northern League includes football clubs located in the northern part of the North Island from the Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. The competition was known as the NRFL Premier until 2021, when New Zealand's football league system was restructured. Clubs compete each season to qualify for the New Zealand National League.


The first four years (1965–1969)Edit

In the years 1965–1969, before the launch of a National Soccer League, the Northern League was the highest level competition available to the clubs in the northern region. When the National Soccer League was created in 1970, the Northern League became one of its feeder leagues.

In 1997 and 1998, when the National Soccer League operated as an invitation-only summer league, the Northern League again became the highest level club competition available to the clubs from the northern provinces.

Present dayEdit

With the demise of the club-based National Soccer League in 2004, the Northern League, now known as Lotto Sport Italia NRFL Men's Premier, became part of the highest level of football league competition in New Zealand for the third time in its history. The league runs between the New Zealand autumn and winter months (April to September), while the New Zealand Football Championship runs between the New Zealand spring and summer months (October to March).

Renaming and restructuring of leagues in the countryEdit

In March 2021, New Zealand Football announced a change to the structure of both the premiership and the top regional leagues around the country. The four top regional leagues (NRFL Premier, Central Premier League, Mainland Premier League and the FootballSouth Premier League) would be formed into the Northern League, Central League, and the Southern League. These leagues would allow local clubs to qualify for the premiership season (now known as the National League Championship), with the top 4 teams from the Northern League, the top 3 teams from the Central League, and the top 2 teams from the Southern League making up the competition, alongside the Wellington Phoenix Reserve side. All teams that qualify plus the Phoenix Reserves, would then play a single round-robin competition between September and December.[1]

Current Northern League structureEdit


The following list is of the official sponsors of the League, unless otherwise noted.


Current clubsEdit

Location of clubs in Auckland Region for the 2022 Northern League season

As of the 2022 season.[2]

Team Home ground Location 2021 season
Auckland City Kiwitea Street Sandringham, Auckland 1st
Auckland United Keith Hay Park Mount Roskill, Auckland 2nd
Bay Olympic Olympic Park New Lynn, Auckland 6th
Birkenhead United Shepherds Park Beach Haven, Auckland 4th
Eastern Suburbs Madills Farm Kohimarama, Auckland 3rd
Hamilton Wanderers Porritt Stadium Chartwell, Hamilton 7th
Manukau United Centre Park Māngere East, Auckland 8th
Melville United Gower Park Melville, Hamilton 10th
North Shore United Allen Hill Stadium Devonport, Auckland 9th
Takapuna Taharoto Park Takapuna, Auckland 2nd in Division 1 (promoted)
Waiheke United Onetangi Sports Park Waiheke Island, Auckland 1st in Division 1 (promoted)
Western Springs Seddon Fields Westmere, Auckland 5th

Past championsEdit

Performance by clubEdit

Club Location Titles Last Title
Takapuna City Takapuna 4 1988
Bay Olympic New Lynn 4 2011
Central United Auckland 4 2016
Hamilton Wanderers Hamilton 3 1984
Mount Wellington Auckland 3 1997
East Coast Bays North Shore 3 2013
Glenfield Rovers Glenfield 3 2014
Eastern Suburbs Kohimarama 3 2015
North Shore United North Shore 3 2019
Papatoetoe Papatoetoe 2 1991
Mount Maunganui Tauranga 2 1994
Tauranga City Tauranga 2 2000
Melville United Melville 2 2009
Auckland City Sandringham 2 2022

Notable playersEdit

This list consists of past or present notable players that have either represented an international team, or made more than fifty appearances at a professional level in their careers.

Top scorersEdit

The following list is from the 2021 season onwards after New Zealand Football changed the football league system in New Zealand. From 2021, the Northern League has acted as a qualifier league to the National League.

Season Top scorer(s) Club(s) Goals
2021   Alex Greive Birkenhead United 19
2022[3]   Derek Tieku Hamilton Wanderers 17


The following records are from the 2021 season onwards after New Zealand Football changed the football league system in New Zealand. From 2021, the Northern League has acted as a qualifier league to the National League. The records are up to date as of the end of the 2022 season.

MVP WinnersEdit

Season Winner(s) Club(s)
2021[4]   Alex Greive Birkenhead United


  1. ^ "New National League competition details confirmed". New Zealand Football. 26 February 2021. Archived from the original on 17 March 2021. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Northern Region Football – Home".
  3. ^ "2022 Northern League Top Scorers". New Zealand Football instagram. 4 September 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Goal-filled final weekend in the South Central Series as Miramar Rangers (men) and Southern United (women) crowned winners". Retrieved 26 January 2022.

External linksEdit