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The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen

[Editor’s Note: Phil is off this weekend, so today we have a pinch-hitting appearance by Ticker assistant and soccer expert Jamie Rathjen. Enjoy! — Paul]

We don’t often write about new soccer shirts individually on Uni Watch, in part because Paul isn’t knowledgeable about soccer and also because there are literally hundreds of new shirts released each summer, so it would be impossible to blog about all of them. As a result, they’re usually featured in the Ticker, or occasionally in roundups of leagues or tournaments.

But with Phil taking this weekend off, I wanted to devote some space to Scottish club Aberdeen’s new second shirt (pictured above), which came out last Tuesday and is one of my favorites so far this year. The swirling, whirlpool-like design is based on the northern lights, also referring to a song that’s popular with Aberdeen fans. The song is “The Northern Lights,” a version of which (embedded below) the team produced two years ago with the Aberdeenshire folk singer Iona Fyfe for a season ticket renewal campaign.

The new shirt is apparently selling well, although the broader response seems to be in the “love it or hate it” category. Much like any new uniform we discuss here on Uni Watch, there will always be those who bemoan highly nontraditional designs like this one, while others seem to appreciate the novelty, color scheme, or both.

Personally I’m a big fan of this design, as it checks the boxes of nature and bright colors that I’ve mentioned liking in my NWSL previews (although I’m also biased as Aberdeen is one of the clubs I support). It’s following up on some very well done nature-based designs that Adidas put together for this year’s women’s World Cup as well as for MLS’s Minnesota United.

The choice of a dark-colored Aberdeen second shirt is always odd, though. I’m sure it’s too dark and therefore too similar to be worn against the maroon-clad Heart of Midlothian, the most obvious domestic opponent whose colors clash with Aberdeen’s usual red. Aberdeen have not had a third shirt in the recent past, so dark-on-dark clashes usually result in a white second shirt from a previous season being pressed back into service.

Additionally, there are more potential color clashes for Aberdeen among their women’s than men’s opponents, and the men’s team’s European competition next season may not see clashes. So the men’s team might only have to wear this shirt five times or so next season, and the women’s team closer to 10. I’m hoping it’s a few more than that, if only for the novelty of the design.

If you’re interested in learning more, a writer from an area newspaper, The Press and Journal, put together a rundown of every Aberdeen second shirt he could find color pictures of — including, interestingly enough, one that featured in a maroon-on-blue matchup against Italy’s Torino.

Comments (7)

    I’m definitely in the “love or hate it” category. I literally have no idea why but I love that shirt/kit/uniform. It just seems fun.

    I clicked on the 1979-2023 kit review link and, not being one who follows European futbol, I’m surprised at the lack of consistency of any kind…
    These are all things that help us identify “our” team AND the things many on this website bemoan when changed significantly.

    That’s really the norm for soccer, especially in Europe: the home jersey stays pretty consistent (and is also worn on the road unless there’s a color clash with the opponent) and the road jersey changes every year with no consistency, usually tied into marketing.

    It’s like if the MLB made all road uniforms City Connect, and all 30 teams got a new one every year. It sounds absurd from a non-soccer point of view, but it’s… Just the norm? I guess?

    A lot of clubs do have “traditional” change colours that are used often. My team, Palace, for example, has rotated between yellow, black and white for their 2/3 alternate strips every season for the past thirty-odd years; Arsenal often have a yellow shirt/strip, AC Milan usually have black and white alternates. The (IMO) running out of ideas caused by the plethora of releases demanded every 12 months means we’re seeing a lot of shirts “inspired” by previous designs, leading to certain colours being used more frequently that way too. Granted, kit manufacturers like to take the odd liberty….

    If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then these beautiful Aberdeen kits pay a very high compliment to Minnesota Aurora.

    Would be really nice if it would glow in the dark. But ofcourse it does not so I shrug my shoulders at this one.

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