YEARS of hard work is about to be rewarded for 1874 Northwich.

As revealed yesterday, they appear set for promotion to the Northern Premier League as part of a restructure of the National League System.

Having had the best points-per-game record over the past two Covid-shortened seasons in the North West Counties League Premier Division, they along with Warrington Rylands and Bootle have met the criteria set out for upwards movement.

> Full details of the restructure which looks set to promote 1874 Northwich here

Should they wish to apply and subject to final approval from the FA, they will compete in a newly-created, 20-team division at Step Four in the 2021-22 season.

1874 chairman Steve Richardson confirmed his club will be applying when officially invited, saying it would be “honoured” to be one of the 110 clubs across the country to be promoted under the proposals.

“We are pleased that the FA Alliance and Leagues Committee have come to a decision after two years of uncertainty,” he said.

“Should 1874 be invited by the FA to apply for a place in the new league at Step Four, then we would be honoured to fill that position and we would represent the league to the best of our ability.

“This decision rewards the efforts that the supporters, players and managers have put into the club since our inception.”

Stepping into the Northern Premier League would be a new high for the club formed back in 2012, but it is a move they appeared primed to make before Covid-19 decimated sport at all levels.

They were runaway leaders of the 2019-20 NWCFL Premier Division before the pandemic took hold, causing the season to be declared null and void.

When the game resumed all to briefly for 2020-21, Greens had won three of the five league games they managed to play before the campaign was curtailed again.

Overall, 1874 gained 80 points from the 35 league games they have played over the past two campaigns at an average of 2.353 points per game - the highest in the NWCFL ahead of Bootle (2.267) and Rylands (2.171).

As a result, they appear set to join the top three sides from both the Northern League and the Northern Counties East League and the top-ranked clubs in the remaining 11 Step Five divisions.