NOT only do they have a Wembley cup final to look forward to, but Warrington Rylands can now officially start planning for life in the Northern Premier League.

The FA have confirmed Blues' promotion to Step Four of the National League System as part of a restructure which sees an extra division created.

Along with 1874 Northwich and Bootle – the other two North West Counties League sides invited to apply for upwards movement after satisfying the FA's on-field criteria over the past two Covid-shortened seasons – they will be in the NPL West Division for the 2021-22 campaign.

Among their league rivals will be Marine, Workington, City of Liverpool and Runcorn Linnets.

"I’m made up. The players deserve it for the way they’ve performed," said manager Dave McNabb, who is in the midst of preparing his squad for Saturday's FA Vase final against Binfield.

"It’s not ideal as everyone wants to do it on the pitch and finish the season off, but ultimately we’ll take what we’ve got.

"Over the course of the two seasons, we’ve deserved to go up.

"It’s a fresh challenge, different grounds and much tougher opposition to look forward to.

"It’s something that we’re going to relish."

Rylands' points-per-game average of 2.1714 was the third-best in the North West Counties League over the qualifying period, behind 1874 (2.3529) and Bootle (2.2667).

Owner Paul Stretford says he will sit down with McNabb, his assistant Fraser Ablett and club executives in due course to set a "competitive" budget for Step Four.

"I’m delighted for absolutely everyone involved – the management team, the players, the executive committee who put so much hard work in," he said.

"Most of all, I’m delighted for the fans we have accrued.

"We’ve now reached that first staging post that we wanted to reach to ensure we can climb up the National League ladder.

"The way we’ve approached everything is to sit down as a committee and make sure the infrastructure behind the scenes can cope.

"We’ll then sit down as a group – myself, (chairman) Mark Pye, (secretary) Tony Bennett, Dave and Fraser – and talk about where we expect to pitch our budget.

"We’ve made a meteoric rise and we’ve not done that by not setting our stall out right.

"We’ve tried to make sure we’re competitive and I’m sure that will be the same in Step Four."

Full list of Northern Premier League West clubs, 2021-22:

1874 Northwich


City of Liverpool



Glossop North End

Kendal Town

Kidsgrove Athletic

Leek Town


Market Drayton Town


Newcastle Town

Prescot Cables

Ramsbottom United

Runcorn Linnets


Warrington Rylands



More to follow