Season 2016/17 is almost upon us with Brentford preparing to travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Yet before a ball has even been kicked in anger, I’ve already seen thoughts turning towards 2017/18. Specifically, in regards to the playing kit.
I’m not going to dwell further on this year’s offering, suffice to say that I love it (although, equally, recognise that it is not everybody’s cup of tea). We’ve discussed this one to the nth degree already.
However, what is of ongoing interest was Kitman Bob’s recent revelation that he is already getting close to looking at the design specs for next season. That’s 2017/18, just to be clear. Likewise, Mark Devlin’s insight into the design process given at Monday’s fan forum where he explained how the final selection involves oversight from a number of people at the club, all the way up to Matthew Benham.
Then, last night, supporter Stephen O’Brien offered his thoughts on this subject via Twitter.
Whilst I agree he has picked two absolute stunners (including my all time favourite in the home category), making a 100% clone of a previous effort perhaps isn’t the best way forward. If nothing else, Puma emulated / paid tribute to / ripped off (delete as applicable) both of the shirts Stephen admires so much back in 2010-11. Are we ready for yet another identikit version so soon?
However, where I do agree 110% with Stephen is in his comments about the club badge. Perhaps it is a generational thing but for me nothing quite says Brentford like….the Castle.
Forget the debate about our current red to white ratio. If there is one thing that makes me instantly identify with our club then it is, with all due respect to both the Funky Bee and Buzzette, that badge.
Matthew, Bob, Mark and the other co-directors of shirt selection – please can we bring it back next season?
Much as I’d love to be on your kit committee, I realise that’s never going to happen . However, at the very least why not throw a ‘badge’ vote open to the supporters ?
It wouldn’t be unheard of in footballing circles and given how much we look to engage with our fanbase, why not allow us to help make a decision about the club’s identity ?
If nothing else, our current effort is now entering a twenty-second season of use after first appearing in the 1994/95 campaign. That badge was also chosen by a supporter – Andrew Henning designing it in exchange for two season tickets. Don’t listen to the claims to ownership from TV ‘astrologer’ Russell Grant whom, it later transpired, simply offered guidance on the inclusion of the Middlesex coat of arms found in the bottom left corner.
Yet even after all this time, I still can’t warm to it. It just seems too busy and like our former ‘Spitfire’ font, maybe even just a little dated. With a stylised beehive, the coat of arms, a scroll, four quarters and several text blocks within the design there’s just too much going on. It now feels workmanlike and efficient rather than having the emotional significance of the Castle.
We almost changed over on the occasion of our 125th anniversary. A garish celebratory graphic based on our first ever badge was revealed, along with talk of having a simpler variant on the shirts. Instead, the idea was quietly parked and has never been mentioned since.
Much as I love the Castle, the thought of going all the way back to our origins was an equally wonderful one and it was a real shame this never put in an appearance in one form or another. But the point is mentioned as it shows the club have considered change.
With Brentford’s sartorial fate for next season already approaching discussion, why not take a chance to roll back the years?
Please Matthew. Can we have our castle back?