Showing posts with label Kit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kit. Show all posts

Monday, 24 June 2013

Angel Rangel and The Purple Jigsaw

I'm back from Portugal, full of port and cheese, and ready to share my views on the new Swansea City kit (from what we can make of it) and how it's been revealed!

While I was away I noticed a tweet with an attached photo of the new kit. When I clicked on it I believed my phone was playing up as I could only see Angel Rangel's head. However after reading the accompanying article I realised what was happening.

Via the official website, the club have been releasing the image of the new 2013/14 kit piece-by-piece in an attempt to build interest and create a buzz. The club announced on its website that they will be "revealing a section of both kits each day for the next week" with the full unveiling on Friday morning.

I could see this teaser method working to an extent, maybe over a day or two, but by Friday surely everyone will have figured out what the kit looks like? As one tweeter correctly pointed out, the patch on the arm suggests it is likely to be nothing but a slight variation on the new Stoke City away kit. This is because these days, unfortunately, kit designers tend to create a template and use it for a few clubs. (It's hard to criticise Adidas too much after they delivered the superb centenary kit last season).

I could be very wrong and the final square of the picture could shock us all (maybe a watermark of Alan Tate and the F**k Off Cardiff flag), but chances are it will be pretty much as expected.

Whatever happens this is unlikely to deter the army of Jacks from purchasing the new kit. Regardless of the way it's been revealed it is still likely to be well received and will probably sell out much like it did last year.

It just seems it would've been better to reveal the new kit as one massive firework instead of letting off loads of those little ones which everyone eventually gets bored with.

On the subject of kits - and as I've said before I'm no Gok Wan - I'm not sure about a purple Swans away kit. I'd still prefer a classic black kit, or even red like last year. However the purple move does hint that Infiniti, who use purple as their marketing colour, are more than likely the new sponsors. Whatever happens purple has got to be better than orange!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Swansea City 12/13 Kit Review - Swansea's answer to Gok Wan!

Firstly, to clarify: I am not Gok Wan - I'm not half Chinese (though am partial to a dim sum) and my opinions in the world of fashion are not well respected. However, I like to think I know at least something about the only fashion that should matter to you readers: Swansea City kits!

We've now had 100 years of Swansea kits to enjoy, from the simplicity of the earlier years to the over complicated designs we saw in the 90's.

While the 2010/11 home shirt was pretty nice - white with black trim and Adidas stripes - there was nothing immense about it. No real 'wow factor' (I assume that is something Gok says?), and nothing significant to celebrate Swansea's promotion to the Premier League. But, as I say, it was nice enough.


However, last seasons' orange away kit was one of the worst we've had for a while in my opinion, in both design and effort, especially after finding out that it was no more than a generic training top reissued with a Swans badge. An insult if you ask me.

But I'm willing to forgive Adidas after seeing the effort that has gone into the centenary kit.

When I first saw the kits for the 2011/12 season I was surprised and satisfied (in that order). After a few ordinary seasons, we now see a shirt worth getting excited about! Let's have a look at it.


The Badge


To mark 100 years of Swansea City, the club designed a centenary badge, which was a brilliant idea. There are many websites, books and events planned to celebrate 100 years of the club, so it was only expected that the logo designers follow suit and conjure up something special. This special badge features on both the home and away kits, in addition to a selection of jackets and training tops.

Naturally, we all love the standard Swans logo, but to have a one-off edition made especially to celebrate the centenary is a smart move. The bevelled-edge shield features something that resembles an actual swan, the words centenary and the important text: Swansea City A.F.C 1912-2012. I like it – it's fit for the celebration and adds to the collector appeal of this new shirt.


Home Shirt
Never has a blogger looked so awkward...




Swansea City will walk out on the Liberty Stadium pitch in what must be their most princely kit yet. It's the white we all expected (no red re-branding in Swansea thankfully...) but with a luxurious twist: gold!

Not just a bit of gold here and there, but gold Adidas stripes, gold Swans badge and even a gold 32 Red logo! It's a bold move changing from white and black to white and gold, but, like the new badge, for a one off and a celebration of 100 years of Swansea City it was a worthy gamble that has paid off with the fans.

So far, every supporter I've spoken to seems to love its over-the-top statement, but simple design. Hopefully it will reflect and compliment the style of football that the Swans will play under Michael Laudrup. It's so stylish, even Alan Tate may look good.


You'll notice I've had my name on the back. I could have had Graham, Sinclair, Williams, Vorm, Rangel... but who knows where they'll be playing in a year from now, so why risk it. No, go with your own name. You'll be that bit less depressed when your favourite player leaves the club as you won't need any re-stitching.


I'm also enjoying the appearance of 'The Jacks' stitched onto the back of the shirt – a classy finishing touch and a nod to the fans.


Away Shirt


Initially I was indifferent when seeing the almost garish away kit, though it has grown on me. It's a typical Adidas design, but combines two colours not usually seen together in the Swans back catalogue: red and green - the colours of Wales. It's another bold move, but it works. It promotes the fact that Swansea City are the first Welsh football team to land (and stay in) the Premier League. There was no need to change the name of the team to... say, the Red Dragons.
 
However patriotic the colours are, I find they clash a bit and it may be a problem for the style conscious fan. Naturally it is designed to be worn with white shorts, thus completing the Welsh flag feel, but for those of us who rarely wear white shorts, it would have been even better if the design incorporated a little more white into the top to break up the greed and red.

Let's hope squad do us proud in both shirts!


Expert opinion!

I'll be frank with you - I couldn't find a non-football fashion expert who was willing to give their view on the shirt. I tried, but the fashion world is stuck up it's own arse when it comes to football kits it seems.

However, I convinced my long-suffering, football-hating girlfriend, Becci, to have a look at both shirts and give me her honest opinion. This is basically how our chat panned out:

Becci: I think you're asking the wrong person because I think all football shirts are awful.
Chris: Right... Anyway, this is the away shirt (shows photo)
Becci: It looks like the Welsh rugby top to me. It is quite smart though. But if you saw them on the football field wearing the shirt you wouldn't say it was Swansea.
Chris: So you like it?
Becci: It doesn't look cheap like some of the other kits. It's nice.

Becci's score: 8/10

Chris: This is the new home kit (shows photo)
Becci: Is that actually it? Oh my god that is fu**ing awful. It looks tacky with the gold. I have nothing else to say about it.
Chris: Say something else please, I have a blog to fill.
Becci: ... is there a reason it's gold?
Chris: It's to celebrate 100 years history of Swansea City.
Becci: Oh. I just think they could've made more of an effort. I suppose it is quite nice. I just think the gold looks tacky though.

Becci's score: 6/10

So, while I assume Becci does not reflect the whole non-football loving world, it seems the away kit is a hit, while the home kit needs a bit more work. Keep this in mind for next time Adidas...

I'll be back soon for more Swans news as we head into the 'looking ahead to next season' stage of the summer. In the meantime I'd like to say a big, big thank you to Idealo.co.uk for supplying the shirt for me to review and Becci for her opinions.

See you next time!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Adopting the Swans!

In my quest to get into an American sport, I've stumbled across the notion of club adoption, where you chose a club to support with no solid ties to the city that the club is based.

Swansea City have been adopted by many people who live far, far away (that's right - even further than Carmarthen) and they all have their reasons for selecting the Swans. But this got me thinking that there may be many more out there searching for their own team to adopt.

Foreign football fans could end up choosing to adopt Barnsley or Preston or (*shudder*) Cardiff, instead of Swansea. So, I've put together a couple of reasons to help persuade potential fans that they should adopt Swansea as their football club!


1) The kit
As a supporter of whatever team you choose to adopt, you will naturally want to get your hands on a replica jersey to show where your loyalties lie and what better kit than that of Swansea City? The joy of the Swansea kit is that it's simple. You just can't go wrong with white (unless you spill Chicken Korma down the front). It's clean, stylish and bold. The away kit is similarly simple, just in black.

If you opt to support a different club, you could end up wearing a disgusting supporters kit. Everton's garish pink away jersey anyone? Fancy slipping on the Arsenal away top, reminiscent of a Girl Guide uniform? Thought not. With Swansea at least you'll look good.

Though in previous years there have been some kit blips (I didn't think much of last season's over complicated design), the current look is hard to dislike. It's a jersey to be proud of!


2) The place
When picking a team to adopt, you have to bare in mind that you might want to, one day, go to watch a live game in the city. Now if you pick Coventry or Hull, you'd have to stay in one of those cities, which can't be good for your well-being. By choosing Swansea City FC you'll have the joy of staying in Wales' best city!

I was about to reel off some reasons why you might want to visit Swansea, but I found that visitswanseabay.com has done a better job than I'd be able to:

Wales' city by the sea has Viking roots and a long, eventful history. Home to innovative visitor attractions and renowned for its awesome night-life, it's a vibrant cultural centre, and a regional shopping hub. Just a stone's throw away, the charismatic seaside village of Mumbles offers galleries and boutiques, snug caf├ęs and fine dining. The Gower Peninsula extends west of Mumbles, in miles of unspoilt coastal panoramas, award-winning golden beaches, and lush, rolling countryside.

See, that was a great description wasn't it? I was just going to mention that we have a Nandos!


3) The rivalries
It's not unheard of for a team to have a rival. The Manchester derby, Merseyside derby, Birmingham derby... all famous in their own rights, but none of these come close to the raw hatred involved when Swansea City play Cardiff City!

Being the only two major league teams in Wales, you'd think the clubs would support one another and try to put Welsh football on the map together wouldn't you? Wrong! The supporters generally can't stand each other, which ensures the South Wales derby is always a highly charged affair!

With Swansea and Cardiff both in the Championship, this derby is played at least twice a season, with added possibility of the teams facing each other in cup matches too. And, with both teams in a position to be promoted to the Premier League, this rivalry could soon be played out on one of the biggest footballing stages in the world!

(By the way, I'm aware that if you choose to adopt Cardiff as your team you would also get the joys of this celebrated derby. But you don't really want to support Cardiff...)


4) The football
Naturally the football is the main reason you are selecting a team to adopt. I could go on and on about the ins and outs of Swansea's footballing philosophy, but I guess you have to watch a couple of games first, to see if the style really suits you!

However I will say this. Swansea play exciting football, which has led to recent comparisons to giants like Arsenal and Chelsea. With up-and-coming youngsters such as Scott Sinclair, speedy wingmen like Nathan Dyer and solid defending from the likes of Tate, Monk and co., Swansea has a lot to offer the football connoisseur! Boredom is rarely a word you associate with the Swans these days.

Of course the club has had their blips and fair share of average matches in the past, but some of the games from this season alone are worth following the Swans for! Recent games such as the 4-3 win away against Middlesbrough after being 3-1 down really shows the fighting spirit the team have. If you love 94th minute winning goals, you'll love watching the Swans!


5) The future
As you read this, things could have changed, but Swansea are currently 5th in a very tight nPower Championship table, just seven points off the top spot. The Swans have been in with a great chance of topping the table over the past weeks, though a few slip-ups have cost them a place or two. However, they're still in a fantastic position to end the season in the automatic promotion places and, with 15 games to go, it wouldn't be impossible to actually win the league (I'll get scorned by many fans now for jinxing it).

Some may call it optimistic, but blips aside, Swansea can play fantastic football and can win most games put in front of them if they keep focused and take things game-by-game. We are in the later stages of the 2010/11 season at the moment and the Swans are looking to gain momentum for the final push to promotion glory. Exciting time to start supporting your new team!


6) Alan Tate
By supporting Swansea City, you have Alan Tate on your side. That should be enough to persuade anyone!

So there we go! 6 good reason to adopt the Swans. We look forward to seeing you at the Liberty Stadium some time in the near future!