By Dave Watters
They'll be no surprise names in the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League next season after the Football Association’s annual summer reshuffle of the top levels of Non-League football.
The EVO-STIK NPL's line-up for 2017-18 campaign was first published on Sunday in The Non-League Paper before the lifting of an FA embargo at midnight on the allocation of clubs at Steps 1-4 of the National League System.
Covering clubs preparing to kick off in the National League, Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League next season, the allocation will be confirmed at the AGMs of the competitions in June following any appeals to the FA.
While the Isthmian League and Southern League saw clubs handed reprieves and numerous lateral moves between Step 4 divisions driven by geography, five champions from Step 5 strengthen the EVO-STIK NPL's two divisions of 22 clubs.
In EVO-STIK NPL First Division North, North West Counties League champions Atherton Collieries and Northern League winners South Shields will line-up alongside Frickley Athletic and Skelmersdale United following their relegation from the top flight at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
EVO-STIK NPL First Division South will see three champions competing to secure their new status - Peterborough Sports from the United Counties League, Northern Counties East League winners Cleethorpes Town and Midlands League title-winners Alvechurch.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds were switched sideways into the EVO-STIK League Southern's Division One Central to make room for the trio of newcomers with Corby Town and Ilkeston FC making up the numbers after coming down from the top flight.
Altrincham and Stalybridge Celtic, relegated from National League North, are back in the EVO-STIK NPL's top flight along with all four of the promotion winners from EVO-STIK NPL First Division North and South, respective champions Lancaster City and Shaw Lane AFC and play-off winners Farsley Celtic and Witton Albion.
As expected, 2016-17 EVO-STIK NPL Premier Division champions Blyth Spartans and play-off winners Spennymoor Town will be kicking off in National League North come August.
For a full list of the allocations at Steps 1-4 visit: www.thefa.com.
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Season 2017-18 (last season in brackets)
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Premier Division Altrincham (Nat North) Ashton United (NPL P) Barwell (NPL P) Buxton (NPL P) Coalville Town (NPL P) Farsley Celtic (NPL 1N) Grantham Town (NPL P) Halesowen Town (NPL P) Hednesford Town (NPL P) Lancaster City (NPL 1N) Marine (NPL P) Matlock Town (NPL P) Mickleover Sports (NPL P) Nantwich Town (NPL P) Rushall Olympic (NPL P) Shaw Lane AFC (NPL 1S) Stafford Rangers (NPL P) Stalybridge Celtic (Nat North) Stourbridge (NPL P) Sutton Coldfield Town (NPL P) Warrington Town (NPL P) Witton Albion (NPL 1S) Whitby Town (NPL P) Workington (NPL P)
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League First Division North Atherton Collieries (NWCL) Bamber Bridge (NPL 1N) Brighouse Town (NPL 1N) Clitheroe (NPL 1N) Colne (NPL 1N) Colwyn Bay (NPL 1N) Droylsden (NPL 1N) Frickley Athletic (NPL P) Glossop North End (NPL 1N) Hyde United (NPL 1N) Kendal Town (NPL 1N) Mossley (NPL 1N) Ossett Albion (NPL 1N) Ossett Town (NPL 1N) Prescot Cables (NPL 1N) Radcliffe Borough (NPL 1N) Ramsbottom United (NPL 1N) Scarborough Athletic (NPL 1N) Skelmersdale United (NPL P) South Shields (NL) Tadcaster Albion (NPL 1N) Trafford (NPL 1N)
EVO-STIK Northern Premier League First Division South Alvechurch (Mid) Basford United (NPL 1S) Bedworth United (NPL 1S) Belper Town (NPL 1S) Carlton Town (NPL 1S) Chasetown (NPL 1S) Cleethorpes Town (NCEL) Corby Town (NPL P) Gresley (NPL 1S) Ilkeston (NPL P) Kidsgrove Athletic (NPL 1S) Leek Town (NPL 1S) Lincoln United (NPL 1S) Loughborough Dynamo (NPL 1S) Market Drayton Town (NPL 1S) Newcastle Town (NPL 1S) Peterborough Sports (UCL) Romulus (NPL 1S) Sheffield (NPL 1S) Spalding United (NPL 1S) Stamford (NPL 1S) Stocksbridge Park Steels (NPL 1S)