Before the launch of the National Soccer League in 1970, the Northern League was the overly hyped highest competition available for the football clubs in the northern region. This was between 1965 and 1969. Upon creation of the national soccer league in 1970, the northern league became one of the national league’s feeder leagues.
During 1997 and 1998 the national league would operate as an invitation-only summer league. This, therefore, saw the Northern League is the highest-level club tournaments available for the Northern provinces’ clubs.
The club-based National Soccer League died in 2004, and since then, the Northern League has been part of the highest level of football league tournament across New Zealand. It is currently called Lotto Sports Italia NRFL Men's Premier and boasts of being the highest tournament level in the country for the third time in history. This league is played between April and September, which are New Zealand’s autumn and winter months. The ASB Premiership, on the other hand, runs between October and March, which are New Zealand’s spring and summer months.
The current Northern League structure comprises of
The NRFL Men's Premier League
The NRFL Division 1 and
The NRFL Division 2
The Northern League has a host of official sponsors, and here is the detailed list unless noted otherwise.
Lotto Sport Italia, from 2008 to 2012, they are the primary sponsor.
Kia Motors from 2010 to 2012, they are the marketing partner
ASB Bank from 2010 to 2012, they are also the marketing partner
Prime (New Zealand) from 2010 to 2012, they are a TV channel and a TV partner
FTN – Family Television Network partner from 2010 to 2012. They also a television channel and television partner
TVNZ from 2010 to 2012. They are a television channel and an official television sponsor
Sky Network Television from 2009 to date. They are a television channel and a television partner for both national and international broadcasting.
The list below comprises of both past and present players in the Northern League. These players have either represented the national football team at the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.