By Jay from Design Football
Last week, League Two side Carlisle United unveiled two new strips for the coming season: a home kit and an away kit. So far, that’s relatively standard fare for that level of football, and two very classy releases. More plaudits to be sent manufacturer Erreà’s way?
Yes and no. The royal blue home, with its dual-coloured central stripe – or white central stripe flanked with red – is striking in the best possible way, reminiscent of the club’s single season in the top flight in 1974-75. Similarly, the away, in black, looks like it’s benefitted from a theft of the Allied prisoners’ shirt detail from Escape to Victory.
But therein lies the problem. The home is blue and the away is black, and while Southend have taken their navy to battle in the National League, there are fixtures next season which will provide, at best, a “far from ideal” visual issue. The away games against, on a sliding scale, Rochdale, Hartlepool United, Colchester United, Oldham Athletic, Barrow, Scunthorpe United and Northampton Town look, well, let’s say tricky, and that doesn’t even factor in cup matches.
Purveyors of the fabled ‘one-colour kit’ – no Euro 2020 complaints here, please – Carlisle can’t even ameliorate matters by using light shorts from the other kit, say, and no sign yet of alternate/change items coming into the equation.
Fortunately, I haven’t been entirely honest. Carlisle United have, in fact, unveiled four new kits. As well as the nominally outfield examples, there are two equally natty goalkeeper kits, again of the one-colour variety, in white and red respectively. So unless there is a third kit in the offing, and considering the wardrobe in the Cumbrians’ possession, that would seem to be overkill, difficulties may actually be resolved by employing at least elements of the custodians’ outfits.
It’s quite an about-turn but Olympique de Marseille (shorts and socks) and Hibernian (whole kit), to name but two, have easily solved clash issues in the past by using their sartorial rush goalie. So don’t be surprised to see ten men turn out in red or white socks, shorts or, let it be so, shirts during Carlisle’s 2021-22 campaigns.