Well, it felt like Christmas morning when I booted up my pc to take a look at the new Swans home kit this morning. I had misgivings about the team's change to Adidas after Umbro made a pretty nice job of last seasons kit, especially considering some of the awful template-based designs Adidas have pushed on the football world in recent years.
However, they've done Chelsea and AC Milan a couple of reasonably good turns already, so my expectation was positive.
As it turned out, the kit looks about 80% the same as what I imagined they'd do; realising the Milan and Chelsea kits are once again template based, I had imagined the obvious thing to do would be to go all white with black neck trim, shoulder stripes and logos.
Here's what actually happened:
Now, that's pretty tasty. Like I said, it was 80% of what I expected, which means I like it about 80% as much as I hoped I would. The shirt loses 10% for the over wrought neck trim and another 10% for what initially appears to be pointless black slashes down the sides. However, on closer inspection, those slashes run around to the back and join up rather pleasingly.
I would have loathed those stripes if they went nowhere, because I generally like my sports uniforms clean, simple and high impact, but the way they connect is actually almost appropriate, given they make the shape of the old D.A. haircut that was all the rage when I was a kid (not in the fifties, the resurgence in the eighties). And a duck isn't so far removed from a swan. They hang around together all the time in lakes from what I've seen.
Plus, when you add in the players name and number, the black lines almost look like a kind of coat of arms pattern, which is another way of saying a shield, which is a defensive symbol and might subliminally help stop the likes of Manchester United and Co. from putting 8 past us next season.
The kit is actually close enough to the version of it I imagined that I can put my basic photoshop skills to use to show you exactly what I did imagine. And it was this :
C'mon, tell me that's better, because we all know it is. See, Adidas? This is why you should put me in one of your design teams, assuming you have teams and not just one guy with a penchant for unnecessary detail. Actually, to be honest, in my perfect world, the sponsor and the black parts would all be a very light grey, so the shirt was basically two-tone white (actually, in my perfect perfect world, there would be no shirt sponsors. Ah, remember the good old days?). Still, what with money talking as much as it apparently does, I don't think the sponsor would be very happy to have a nearly invisible logo. However, they might have conceeded to this :
Again, I consider that an improvement even over my original imagined version. Keeping it mono keeps it simple, and the sponsor is at least relegated to equal footing with the team (imagine that!) in colour if not size.
Anyway, all told, it's pretty good. I'd still like to buy one, though I am intrigued about the away uniform, which won't be revealed for almost another month. I've said before that black makes sense (because you get both black and white swans, obviously!), but internet rumour has mentioned orange (which was actually the first additional colour to feature on any Swansea kit). Personally, I'm betting on either red, which we've seen before, or the two-tone blue, which we've also seen before.
I guess we'll have to play a bit of wait-and-see. In the meantime, here's some pics of the full kit with the shorts and everything, as though you haven't already seen them :