The Central League was formed in 1911 and is the oldest reserve league in England. For the first decade, it was initially contested between both first and reserve teams. Since 1921, when the senior sides became founder members of Third Division North, it has been for reserve teams only.
The League has always traditionally been made up of clubs from the Midlands, as well as north Wales and north England, but at the start of the 2014/15 season, it expanded to become a national competition for the first time in its 103-year history.
The League provides important development opportunities for many young players as they seek to progress from youth football to the first team environment.