Bury AFC, the phoenix club rising from the ashes of the former Football League side, could be playing in west Cumbria next season.

The group behind the new club have submitted an application to the North West Counties League, where Cleator Moor Celtic currently ply their trade.

If this is approved and the club is formed, the NWCFL First Division North looks to be a likely destination with the first aim being to get into the Premier Division.

The NWCFL First Division North is the 10th tier of English football, meaning it would take Bury at least six seasons to get back into the EFL – and that after winning six promotions.

But there have been similar cases, and not too far from Bury. Near neighbours Salford City were playing in the ninth tier as recently as 2010.

The only other clubs who have played in the NWCFL since 1983 to have later earned Football League status are Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley.

It’s eight years since Fleetwood made it to the EFL for the first time in their history while Accrington returned in 2006 after their long exile.

Given the club’s recent past, the emphasis for the phoenix group is more on the community where they are based. They have a target of ensuring football is played in the town by the time we reach August and football is back on the agenda.

The original Bury club was founded in 1885 and in their 135-year history twice won the FA Cup, in 1900 and 1903.

They finished the 2018/2019 season as runners-up in EFL League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system, and were promoted to EFL League One for the 2019/2020 season.

The team were unable to begin the season because of the club’s longstanding financial issues and, on August 27, 2019, Bury were expelled from the EFL.

Cleator Moor Celtic are in their second season of playing in the North West Counties and are currently lying 16th of the 20 clubs. But they have games in hand – sometimes as many as five – on all the clubs in the league.

John George took them to a mid-table berth in their debut season last year and stood down, to be replaced by his assistant Craig Routledge.