What’s the point winning if you aren’t going to do it in style?
With the 2019/20 season already underway, Piłka.UK knows that first impressions don’t come from the performance on the pitch, or how many goals or points a team can pick up; instead, they come from the threads which each team walks out onto the field in. With that very much in mind, here we have the definitive ranking of all 16 home shirts to grace Ekstraklasa pitches for this coming season.
Let us know in the comments what you think we got right (or wrong).
16. Arka Gdynia (Adidas)
It isn’t the addition of two shirt sponsors which sets this shirt back (see Arka’s Pomeranian rivals Lechia), but rather the fact that it doesn’t really befit the club’s 90th anniversary celebrations.
The new design is clean and bright; but, despite its vibrant yellow hue, ironically it just doesn’t stand out – especially when compared against last year’s beauty. The collar design extending onto the shoulder also looks a bit odd. Adidas’ three stripes down the side at least add something – but a shirt that relies on a trademark as its main redeeming feature is probably one you should give a miss to.
15. ŁKS Łódź (Adidas)
“Less is more”, so goes the famous saying. Whoever first uttered those words, they were probably not thinking of this season’s ŁKS shirt at the time.
It is a template shirt – and a very basic one at that. In fact, save for the club logo and sponsor, it is exactly the same shirt that Górnik wore in the 2017/18 season, after their own promotion back to the top flight. Hardly inspiring.
We’ll give it its due: it’s clean, and doesn’t get bogged down with a silly design. But will it be worth the 200zł price tag which is inevitably slapped onto it? God, no.
14. Wisła Płock (Adidas) – Same as 2018/19
While the shirt itself is exactly the same as last year’s, by reversing the colours of their sponsor’s logo, Wisła have managed to make a slight improvement. Still, it is not enough for them to reduce the price of the 2018/19 version in the club shop, in anticipation of launching the “new and improved” version soon, back at the original price (naughty Wisła Płock).
The blue-and-white hoops are bog standard – nothing special. Not a bad shirt by any means, just not really a good one either.
13. Pogoń Szczecin (Zina)
The navy/maroon combination seems to always ooze class; but, while Zina have again proffered another unique design for the Portowcy, this year’s effort perhaps slips a little wider of the mark.
It is by no means a terrible shirt. The simple neck-line takes a few hints from the recent Nike international shirts, while the thicker maroon stripes make a welcome return. Maybe, though, the stripes on the side panel are just a bit too much, and the slight difference between decent and outstanding.
12. Zagłębie Lubin (Nike)
It’s orange. Save for the small black trim along the side, it’s all orange.
The silhouette of the mining tower down the right-hand side has gone from last year’s offering, but it’s difficult to argue that there is 199zł worth of new shirt, here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clean; it’s smart. It looks a slightly darker shade of orange, too, which makes it less… blah… than previous efforts.
But, honestly, you could probably just buy the 2017/18 shirt for less than half the price, colour the Nike logo in black, and no-one would probably tell the difference.
11. Jagiellonia Białystok (Errea) – Same as 2018/19
The second of five clubs to retain last season’s kits, Jagiellonia’s red and yellow horizontal stripes, on the face of it, seem bold and stylish. But, look for a few seconds longer, and the peculiarities jump out.
Logo placement is the main killer for Jaga’s ranking; the yellow-blocked ‘Białystok’ logo straddling the edge of the stripe is a nightmare for anyone who suffers from even the mildest form of OCD; while, if the club’s badge and the logo of manufacturer Errea moved any further apart, they’d practically have different postcodes. And finally, the neckline; way too low if you want to get away without wearing a shirt underneath.
A shirt like the club’s 2018/19 season; full of promise but, ultimately, not as good as it should be.
10. Legia Warsaw (Adidas)
The Wojskowi’s green home shirt is a departure from the white numbers which they’ve worn for the last several years, but not out of the ordinary. Throughout their history, Legia have switched between the two, willy nilly.
This, seemingly Matrix-inspired design, sits straddling the border between sublime and absurd; perhaps edging towards the latter, which would have made a decent goalkeeper jersey. Still, it is a modern take with a retro feel – perhaps a grower, but it doesn’t stand out as one of the better shirts to grace Ekstraklasa pitches this season.
9. Lechia Gdańśk (New Balance)
New Balance have pulled off another slick design for Lechia: the standard horizontal green-and-white stripes; this time slightly bolder, with the addition of a thinner stripe either side.
Why so low? Well, it’s nothing that the manufacturer has done.
Shirt sponsorship may be an integral part of modern football, but the size of Energa’s logo is just too big. Not only that, but somehow, Lechia have managed to get two sponsors logos on the front of the jersey, yet put neither in the correct place.
A smart, modern shirt, ruined by modern football.
8. Wisła Kraków (Adidas) – Same as 2018/19
No change for Wisła this season – perhaps not a surprise, given their financial troubles over the past 12 months. One, slight addition, though: the introduction of a second sponsor – fan association Socios Wisła – which sits well and doesn’t intrude too much.
The diagonal striped pattern doesn’t add too much to the shirt; and, while the red Adidas logo blends nicely with the shirt colour (to the point where you might not even realise it is there), the addition of the “Lotto” logo on the chest makes it feel like there is a bit too much going on on one side of the jersey.
Still, a relatively decent shirt that has nothing drastically wrong with it.
7. Korona Kielce (Puma)
When, year after year, you have to find a way to make a striped shirt more interesting, it understandably must become very wearing. The fact that those stripes are yellow and red probably makes the task even more difficult. However, this year, Korona have managed to tread the fine line between “out there” and “bizarre” well, with their “lightning bolt” pattern shirt by Puma.
The kit loses a couple of marks with the yellow-blocked sponsor logos (constrained by the colours of the kit, unfortunately), while the shorts, perhaps, would be improved with even the slightest yellow piping. Still, a very strong effort.
6. Górnik Zabrze (Adidas)
Every year, Górnik have to find a way to pull off some combination of the white-red-blue; and, after last year’s Marmite shirt (I personally loved it), something much more understated was always on the cards.
With a nod to the 50th anniversary of reaching the Cup Winners’ Cup Final on the back of the neck, the Trójkolorowi have managed to take a relative basic shirt and make it uniquely “Górnik”. It’s odd, but also quite nice, to see it without the big Allianz logo on the front, too.
It’s not going to win any awards, but it is simple, and most of all, classy.
5. Piast Gliwice (Adidas) – Same as 2018/19
The Polish champions will take to the field next season in the same shirt with which they won the league title. Having taken the unusual step of introducing a new shirt halfway through a season, Piast’s customisation of the Adidas Mi Tiro 17 jersey was a marked improvement on their previous, plain home effort.
Ruined slightly by the huge, red logo for the betting company which now sponsors the club (they could have opted for a simple white one, surely?), the shirt drops a few places in the ranking as a result.
4. Cracovia (Puma) – Same as 2018/19
The red-and-white stripes of Cracovia are probably as iconic as you can get in Poland, and the current Puma version is sleek and classy enough to sit alongside some of the club’s classic shirts.
Yes, you can jazz-up a striped shirt (see Puma’s Korona Kielce effort), but for a club steeped in history such as the Pasy, that wouldn’t suit. It may be the second year in a row that this shirt is worn on the south side of the Błonia, but it’s good enough to get away with it.
3. Raków Częstochowa (Hummel)
Danish company Hummel have a knack for making a good shirt; and with this effort for newly promoted Raków another to add to the list.
Harking back to their shirt from the 2004-05 season, in which they won promotion from the fourth tier, a bright blue sash sits atop a vibrant red shirt. While the diagonal stripe makes the shirt uniquely Raków’s, it’s hard not to think that, without it, it might have even been the classiest shirt in the league.
2. Śląsk Wrocław (Adidas)
With their “Mi Team” customisation process, Adidas have blurred the lines between template kits and fully personalised ones. While some custom jobs have proven ghastly, with their version of the Mi Authentic 18 Jersey, Śląsk have almost managed perfection.
Invoking memories of an early 90s Mexico kit (granted, the colours do a lot of the work, here), the Wrocław side have managed to make a complex pattern on the front panel look classy, and somehow simple. Gains extra marks for the subtle, yet defining red trim.
Special mention, too, goes to the beautiful white away shirt.
1. Lech Poznań (Macron)
After taking over from Nike, Italian company Macron blew away the competition with their design for Lech’s shirt in 2018/19, which incorporated elements from the club’s badge into the design. This season, they’ve only gone and smashed it out of the park again, with a classy, retro-style pinstriped jersey.
A modern effort which wouldn’t look out of place alongside some of the Admiral shirts from the early 1980s. Like them, this season’s stunner will also stand the test of time.