The Nike England Euro 2022 women's away kit has been released and the rumours are true: it's a bright coral-red that we as a nation have never quite seen on a national top.
Described by Nike as viewing this design through "neon-tinted glasses", gone is the deep red of the much-beloved 2019 away shirt, replaced by the most daring shade of red that has ever been used in an England shirt. There is darker red trim across the top, with the diamond pattern of the home shirt recurring on the back of the collar of this effort.
On July 6, Women's Euro 2022 kicks off with the Lionesses facing Austria in the tournament opener at Old Trafford. The other two games in Group A are against Northern Ireland and Norway, with this particular shirt most likely to be worn against Northern Ireland.
If this top feels particularly brave, that's because it is – with Stuart McArthur, a Creative Director of Global Sports Apparel at Nike describing the traditional England change shirt as "the most famous red shirt in football". 1966 remains the only time that a side in red have lifted the men's World Cup, after all – yet this shirt looks to reinvent that.
That's deliberate, of course. According to the designers themselves, this top's hue is a nod to the fantastic past of English football while looking to reinvent the women's game for a new generation. This away top is bold enough to reflect the youth who are ever-more attracted to the women's game, as the Lionesses look to make a statement with this kit that will stand the test of time.
To be worn by the likes of Lucy Bronze, Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby – who we now know are in the hosts' provisional squad for Euro 2022 – the team themselves have been integral to the design of the two shirts too, Nike tell us. The brand are moving away from "sponsorships" towards "partnerships" and tell FFT that they wanted this shirt to make the wearer feel "fearless". That's basic sporting psychology, after all.
And that's only touching on the aesthetic. The technology has ramped up to create finer threads than ever, as Nike have developed their range to reflect modern needs. Men's bodies and women's bodies are different after all – and the American manufacturer have reflected that in this shirt.
Adidas have already released their shirts for the tournament, while France and Netherlands have also dropped their Nike tops with the England releases.
Women's European Championship 2022 is very nearly upon us. The Lionesses are set to warm up for the competition with friendlies against the likes of Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland in the coming weeks – where this top and the home threads will likely make their debuts.
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