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National League: History, teams, dates & odds

The National League is the fifth tier of the English football pyramid and also the highest level of the Non-League system.

The 2022/23 season was one of the most intriguing in the history of the National League, with big-spending Wrexham - under the ownership of Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney - pipping Notts County to automatic promotion.

Both sides accumulated over 100 points, with Wrexham's tally of 111 seeing them finish four points clear of Notts County to secure a return to the EFL for the first time in 15 years.

Notts County then had to go into the playoffs, but they too were able to celebrate promotion, as they saw off first Boreham Wood and then Chesterfield in a dramatic final at Wembley, with the Magpies prevailing 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the home of English football.

The 2023/24 season has a lot to live up to in the National League, with the new campaign expected to get underway in August.

WhatNational League
WhereVarious grounds across England 
WhenAugust 2023 - April 2024 - (Exact dates TBC)
How to watchBT Sport

When is the England National League 2023/24?

The exact dates for the 2023/24 National League season are yet to be announced, but it seems safe to assume the campaign will begin in August.

The 2022/23 campaign got underway on Saturday 6th August, 2022 and the regular season concluded on Saturday 29th April, 2023, with the playoffs commencing soon after.

Notts County's playoff final success over Chesterfield at Wembley took place on Saturday 13th May, 2023.

Can I watch the England National League 2023/24?

BT Sport will once again show selected matches from the National League live over the course of the season, as well as highlights of all the fixtures.

What teams are competing in the England National League 2023/24?

A total of 24 teams will compete in the 2023/24 National League, including Hartlepool and Rochdale, who were relegated from League Two during 2022/23. They will replace the now-promoted Wrexham and Notts County.

Coming up in the other direction will be AFC Fylde and Ebbsfleet United, who were promoted to the National League as the respective winners of the National League North and South.

Kidderminster Harriers were promoted as the winners of the National League North playoffs, while it was Oxford City that triumphed in the National League South playoffs to take their place in the fifth tier.

The remaining teams that will make up the National League for the 2023/24 season are Chesterfield, Woking, Barnet, Bromley, Boreham Wood, Southend, Eastleigh, Dagenham & Redbridge, Halifax, Oldham, Wealdstone, Gateshead, Solihull Moors, Dorking Wanderers, Altrincham, Aldershot, York and Maidenhead.

How many seasons have there been of the National League?

The 2023/24 season will be the 45th National League campaign, with the first having taken place during 1979/80 when Altrincham were crowned champions.

It will be the ninth season since the division was rebranded to the National League from the Football Conference.

Which team(s) has won the National League on the most occasions?

Barnet and Macclesfield Town are the most successful clubs in the National League's history, as they have both won the title on three occasions.

A further seven sides have lifted the championship twice - Lincoln City, Cheltenham Town, Stevenage (then Stevenage Borough), Kidderminster Harriers, Maidstone United, Enfield and Altrincham.

Who are the favourites to win the England National League 2023/24?

After narrowly missing out on promotion during 2022/23, Chesterfield will hope to be in the mix once again, as they look to return to the EFL for the first time since suffering relegation in 2018.

Boreham Wood, Bromley, Woking and Barnet also suffered playoff heartache and could contend once again, while relegated duo Hartlepool and Rochdale will be keen to bounce back at the first attempt.

With Wrexham and Notts County having now left the division, the promotion race in the National League could prove to be a lot more closely fought during 2023/24.

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