North Shore United and Takapuna AFC have joined forces in an effort to bring the glory days of national league football back to the North Shore.

The two Shore clubs have both featured in previous incarnations of the national league and have now put a combined bid to New Zealand Football to join an expanded 10 team ASB Premiership in 2016/17 as North Shore City FC.

The sport's governing body is planning to shift the ASB Premiership from summer to winter in three years and realign it with the traditional pyramid of winter leagues. Part of that transition is opening up the national league to bids from winter clubs for the first time in the 11-year history of the league's current franchise-based format.

Spokesman for the joint venture, Mark Elrick, a former All White who won the national league and Chatham Cup while playing on the Shore, says the time is right for the ASB Premiership to have a proper presence north of the Harbour Bridge.

"North Shore United were right there amongst it in the early days of the league and are proud to have lifted the trophy a couple of times during 30 years of involvement. Takapuna joined us in the league in 1980 and we know more than most of the hunger to see national league football return to this part of the country," Elrick said.

"It's now been over a decade since the North Shore, a massive area in terms of population and football interest, was represented in the national league and the time is right to correct that by giving fans a strong, sustainable option like North Shore City to get behind."

Elrick says a working party for the bid have exciting plans to turn Takapuna's Taharoto Park into a boutique football ground to rival Kiwitea Street, while Allen Hill Stadium in Devonport is being redeveloped, but that the real strength of the bid is the two clubs' combined football infrastructure.

"Together we have the most qualified coaches on the Shore, the biggest membership base on the Shore, fantastic junior and youth numbers and both clubs are showing significant growth.

"A place in the ASB Premiership would be the final piece in a comprehensive development pathway for players in a crucial part of our biggest city."

Takapuna AFC Chairman Wayne Hallford said joining forces for a combined tilt at the national league is a natural progression to what has remained a friendly rivalry on the field but a healthy working relationship off it.

"We've been working together at different levels of the game for a number of years now, but you can trace that mutual respect back to when Takapuna City, as it was known then, was born in the 1960s," Hallford said.

"Now, we run joint programmes at junior level and there are a lot of similarities in what we do in terms of school partnerships and community outreach.

"We're also tapping into a high calibre of people from within each club and some from outside, who believe in the clubs' ability to deliver a sustainable North Shore presence in the national league, and this of course has flow-on effects for the membership of both Takapuna and North Shore United."

Applications closed last Saturday, November 21, and a decision will be made by December 16.