Today I bring you what I could call my Mediterranean template as the two teams I have produced with this template both come from this region or more specifically the Eastern Mediterranean. Maccabi Tel-Aviv of Israel and Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus two of the furthest south east outreaches of European football and relatively unknown histories to most Europeans not from the region.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv is one of the oldest sports clubs in Israel, the football part makes up a far larger organization which partakes in a lot of different sports such as Basketball, Volleyball, Swimming and Handball. In fact the basketball section of the organization is one of the most successful teams in Europe. Back to football though, Maccabi (which refers to one of the Maccabees, whose stories have become synonymous with courage, victory and success) have won the most league titles in Israel and as well as this have also won the Asian Champions Cup twice when Israel was once affiliated with the AFC rather than UEFA. Being the most succesful and most supported club in Israel, Maccabi has had some very good players in it ranks that are famous in the rest of Europe such as Eyal Berkovic (אייל ברקוביץ'), Tal Ben-Haim (טל בן-חיים) and John Paintsil, although Berkovic is more recognised as a Maccabi Haifa player, he did infact end his career with the Tel-Aviv club.
I am quite please with the design of the shirt, I intended to make something a bit adidas-y and I think I have achieved it without having to add three stripes. The collar is taken from Liverpool's 06-08 kit, well it is modelled from that and the lines from the collar down the sleeves are reminiscent of last years training kits. Maccabi Tel-Aviv tend to change the design of their kits very often, from stripes to plain yellow to even checkered kits so I thought by adding a blue chest band it would fit in well to that pattern of variation and also add a bit of an individual touch. While making the back of the shirt I didn't intend for it to look like the front of adidas' kits a few years ago but I thought it looked a bit plain so I added those flecks and I think it turned out well. The shorts as you know are not a strong point in design for me and I am not impressed by these, they are very much an after thought. The socks however I am quite pleased with, I tend to be getting better making original sock designs, this one is intended to have a different cut around the calf on the fold over being a more dynamic looking V shape instead of the conventional round style.
For the away kit I have gone for a colour scheme based around the national flag, using the Israeli white and blue colour scheme, it was tough to choose whether or not to add the two blue bars across the front of the chest (like the flag) and I sort of regret doing that now as the shirt is perhaps busy enough as it is. It was also a decision before even designing the template that I wanted the back to be a different colour to the front on the away shirts as I really liked it when Kappa did it for their kits a while back now.
Omonia Nicosia has traditionally been the most successful club in Cypriot football until this year where they were over taken in league titles by city rivals APOEL. During the 70's and 80's, Omonia were the dominant power in Cypriot title race capturing 14 out of 20 league titles in that period, the 90's and 00's have been barren in comparison, with only 3 titles with Anorthosis, APOEL and Apollon all overshadowing them. Although not being a force in European football or even Cypriot football at the present time them have managed to capture one big name player, that being former Wisła Kraków and Celtic striker Maciej Żurawski who has quite a good scoring record at both club and international levels, if they can build on this they are sure to recapture the glory that the 70's and 80's teams enjoyed.
For the kit I thought it pretty important to bring more green into the mix as that is said to represent hope and the team really need more of that so the shorts have been turned green as currently them play in white the shoulders and back are also almost entirely green just being broken up by little bits of white. I was also quite impressed by the look of their kits which had stripes and as I wanted to try these out on this template I obliged with them and think they have turned out pretty well although I did have to modify the back of the template to make them fit. The club crest has also been put inside a traditional shield which I think helps the shirt too, I toyed with just have the shamrock in the crest but it looked too Irish Rugby for my liking.
The away shirt is another play on the national flag, but this I really don't like looking at it now. I got the idea from Kappa's old Vitória Guimarães third kit which was white with a yellow back, but this really doesn't do that justice, maybe it is the black that lets it down, I don't know, I just know I find it hideous to look at now, although the map of Cyprus in the middle of the shirt is a redeeming feature. Oh and APOEL play in yellow...