In Gaelic games, it’s the time of year when teams unveil new kits for the coming season – by and large, the sports of hurling and Gaelic football run to the calendar year, though some of the 2020 season’s minor competitions began in early December.
Among those receiving redesigns from O’Neills – who outfit all but one county – are Meath and Wexford and both have looked to the past.
Meath’s jersey for 2020 (right) features a chequered pattern, similar to that first seen in 1986 (left) and used by the side that won the 1987 and 1988 All-Ireland senior football titles, though that was rectangles rather than squares.
While the idea is good, we can’t help but feel that using three different shades of green on the torso is not a good idea.
Still, it’s better than the 2004 offering (left), which had the chequered motif on the sides of the body and the arms. Back then, there were too many extra flourishes added and it upset the overall balance of the kit.
Traditionally, Meath’s fellow Leinster side Wexford have worn a style which features purple on the lower half of the body and gold on the upper half, but recent years have seen the purple dominate, with the shirt launched in 2017 featuring gold only as a trim colour (right).
A change in sponsor to Zurich Insurance has resulted in a new design for the Model County and, like Meath, it seeks to recall past glories. The design is very similar to that worn as they won the 1996 All-Ireland hurling championship in a kit produced by the now-defunct Connolly Sportswear.
GAA players are amateur and Wexford’s longest-serving player Éanna Martin is the county board’s commercial manager by day. He had a key role in working with O’Neills to produce something that nodded to the past while also looking modern.