Its surprising how many new season kits have been launched already. Here are just four – more to follow over the next month or two in the build up to 09-10.
Chelsea Home Kit 09-10
One of the first big launches just prior to the end of the season this adidas strip has caused some controversy – primarily to its supposed similarity to a sports bra! The jersey, which actually closely resembles a tight fitting cycling top, does indeed have an innovative combination of fabrics around the chest area are designed to enhance freedom of movement. It also creates a nice clear space for the sponsor logo. Other features of the top include a fake zip effect by the collar and interrupted three-stripe trim on each sleeve. The shorts are similar to last season’s with the adidas logo appearing on the back only. Personally, I love this kit. Like the Umbro England kit it redfines the whole concept of a football shirt.
Aston Villa Away Kit 09-10
Another strong but simple conceptual design from Nike. The shirt commemorates the record-breaking 67 Villa players who have had the honour of playing for England – hence the borrowing of the familiar (until this season!) English colour scheme of white shirts and navy shorts. The whole idea is brought together under the banner of “When a Nation Calls” and is promoted by its very own Nike-powered micro-site www.whenthenationcalls.com. The shirt has a superb, elegant design with a half white/half grey fabric adorned with pinstripes. I would have liked to have seen some claret on the shorts as well though. Children’s hospice Acorns remain the club’s shirt “sponsor”.
Everton Home Kit 09-10
Everton have recently signed a new kit deal with Le Coq Sportif – their apparel suppliers during the club’s 80s heyday. To mark the fact and to commemorate the fantastic Everton side of the time that included the likes of Andy Gray, Kevin Ratcliffe and Graeme Sharp) a close facsimile of the design worn then has been reinvented for 09-10. The most notable retro design element is of course the unique Le Coq Sportif crew neck/white ‘v’ combo that dominates the shirt design. I like retro influenced shirts but somehow this is just too close to the original for me. Having said that, the more I see it the more it grows on me. Its certainly a massive move-on from the club’s past few kits from Umbro who seemed to be struggling to make each design different from the previous one.
Sunderland Home Kit 09-10
Nice and simple from Umbro here for the Black Cats. Gone are the increasingly fiddly and complex adornments that decorated Umbro’s recent kits and instead a good old fashioned wrapover crew neck tops off a strong rendering of the club’s red and white stripes. The shirt has drawn some attention due to the large club crest watermark that sits behind the embroidered badge on the left breast. Its a brave move from Umbro and certainly makes the design distinctive but I’m not sure of the thinking behind it. Maybe it is just to make the design distinctive! Black socks also make a return with this strip.
Looking at Umbro’s 09-10 kits so far, it appears that they have two clearly separate ranges of designs for next season; the tailored kits, with new diamond logo, and a regular range with the recent ‘stretched’ logo. Can anyone confirm this?