BURY AFC have applied to enter next season's FA Vase competition.

The group behind the phoenix club have already submitted an application to join the North West Counties League - the ninth and 10th tiers of the non league football pyramid.

If approved, it will most likely compete in the NWCL First Division North.

Teams at that level - and also at NWCL Premier Division - can compete in the FA Vase while teams further up the pyramid, the Northern Premier League and National League, enter the FA Trophy.

However, if Bury AFC do get the green light, it will be unable to enter the FA Cup as rules state that a club must have played one full league season before it can join the competition.

The new Shakers are one of two new clubs to apply to the NWCL - the other being FC Isle of Man - while nine other clubs, Allscott, Ashville, Crewe, Egerton, Foley Meir, Ilkley Town, South Liverpool, Stockport Georgians and Wellington Amateurs are hoping to join from further down the football pyramid.

The phoenix club maintain they are a "last resort" for Shakers fans with a local consortium continuing to negotiate a takeover with owner Steve Dale.

He recently defaulted on a company voluntary agreement to pay back debts, leaving the club under real threat of liquidation.