Phoenix earn their stripes

WHILE the apparel of many professional sporting teams seems to get increasingly garish with each passing season, Wellington Phoenix FC has bucked the trend by adopting a traditional design for its main playing strip for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.

The Phoenix-s primary playing strip features bold black and yellow stripes, black shorts and black socks. Subtle trim adds a modern touch to the strip, with the striped design modelled on the club-s official crest.

While the “home” strip has a distinctly “retro” look, the Phoenix alternate strip offers a nice counterpoint with a truly modern design. Predominantly white, the alternate shirt features a bold yellow horizontal hoop trimmed with black across the chest.

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said the new primary strip represented a “back to basics” approach.

“It-s great that we-ve had the opportunity to change our strips from the ones used in our first two seasons in the Hyundai A-League. We-ve been pushing for stripes from the beginning of the club and it-s fantastic that Reebok has helped us achieve that.

“From a traditional point of view, stripes have been part of the footballing landscape for many, many years. The stripes are featured in the club-s crest and we felt that the strip would look great in black and yellow, which are the traditional colours of Wellington.”

In contrast to the striped shirt, the Phoenix-s alternate strip, which is likely to only be used for a few fixtures this season, features a more contemporary design concept.

“It is something a little different,” Pignata said. “We liked the all white design used previously but we wanted to add something to give it a lift – a more modern feel.”

Phoenix captain Andrew Durante and vice-captain Tim Brown were impressed by both the primary and alternate strips.

“I love the stripes of the home strip,” Durante said. “We-ve got the Phoenix colours of yellow and black and the design is traditional yet quite unique compared to the strips of the other clubs in the competition.”

Brown said the alternate strip had an exciting design.

“It-s simple yet bold. And both strips are lightweight and really comfortable to wear. They-re fantastic.”

The new strips will be available for purchase from the new Wellington Phoenix club store, scheduled to open in the coming weeks on the ground floor of ASB Bank Tower, 2 Hunter St, in Wellington city.

The store, currently being fitted out after relocating from the corner of Cuba and Dixon streets, would stock the full range of Phoenix merchandise.

“There-s going to be a big demand from fans for the new strips but we-re urging them to wait till the Phoenix store opens before buying,” Pignata said.

“Purchasing merchandise from the club store benefits the Phoenix directly and is the best way to support the club.”