14 Years Of Shirt (Part 1:14-11)

In 2015, on the old site, I ranked Chonburi’s 10 TPL era home shirts. Now, to commemorate the fact that we are the club with the longest unbroken run in the top flight (14 seasons), I have updated the list to include those shirts released in the last four years. Here’s part one:

NUMBER 14

Season: 2011

Manufacturer: FBT

In 2011 the club announced that they’d be ending their long association with FBT and signing with multi national concern Nike. Obviously irked by the decision, the local sports company got their revenge by inflicting this monstrosity on us – something to remember them by. Sadly, no-one at Chonburi saw through the ruse and decided it would be a good idea for the lads to wear this up and down the country whilst representing the Sharks. A bad idea.

I’m not really sure how to begin describing it – one of its detractors called it “retina burning” – but it is far and away the worst home shirt we’ve ever had. Other than the plain, all blue back, it has absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. The whole thing is a mess. Horrible.

NUMBER 13

Season: 2012

Manufacturer: Nike

Following all the hype and excitement created by our Nike deal, we ended up with this effort for our first one. It’s not even the right colour!

The rumour at the time was that we signed the contract too late to have any say in the design of our new kit. Therefore, someone from the management team was shown into a vast warehouse of leftover stock and asked to choose his favourite. This is what he picked – presumably because it was the nearest to our previous blue shirts.

However, the choice didn’t go down well with many fans and the partnership with the US based sports company hardly got off to an auspicious start, with many of us questioning the club’s wisdom – especially as it was retailing at B500 more than our previous good quality FBT shirts (With hindsight – this was a bargain!). Things could only get better – or could they?!

NUMBER 12

Season: 2009

Manufacturer: FBT

A perfect example of how to mess up a simple striped design. It’s too fussy. All those unnecessary white bits and squiggles add nothing, and serve only as a distraction. The “glow in the dark” FBT badge is quirky but doesn’t really have a place the front of a professional football club’s shirt – unless you plan on wearing it whilst cycling at night – not to be recommended in Thailand.

And it gets even worse on the back. It’s plain (stripes should be front and rear!) and the players’ names and numbers are picked out in bright yellow. Yellow? Where did that come from? At the time, we had no history of yellow in any of our previous kits, but there it was, adding to the overall mess and laughing in the face of tradition. A horrible, nasty pig’s ear of a garment.

NUMBER 11

Season: 2008

Manufacturer: FBT

To be fair, this is not a bad shirt. The colours are right, it’s got stripes and it’s fairly plain – all positives. However, for me, the stripes are too wide and those needless white bits around the neck and shoulders detract from the overall look, as do the rather odd sleeves.

I think one other reason I’m not so keen on this garment, is that it reminds me of a frustrating season. As defending champions, we drew far too many matches in 2008 – 14 out of 30 – and found scoring goals a real problem – 34 in total – as we surrendered our title to PEA. Everytime I look at it, I see us struggling to see off poor sides like Army Utd, Port Authority and Samut Songkhram in our final three home matches, when those 6 points dropped would have seen us home and dry, with something to spare.

And if you need convincing further, the thickness of the stripes always makes my already large frame look even bigger. I thought they were supposed to be slimming!

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