Sonntag, 12. Oktober 2014

Montenegro

Getting this Montenegro shirt was kind of a struggle and in the end costed me 40€ and a whole holiday!
For my summer vacation I went to a 2 weeks roundtrip through the Balkans (Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania) and of course finally wanted to get an official Montenegro shirt. To get that I googled and found out that there is a shop called "Italsport Montenegro" that sells shirts in 2 stores in the center of Montenegro. Both are touristically uninteresting, but Niksic, the second biggest city of the country, was at least on our way.
So I used the first 3 holidays to convince my girlfriend to go into the city center and search for the shop. We did and in the end found out that the shop closed. Feeling how disappointed I obviously was my girlrfriend proposed to just go on to Podgorica before heading to the coastline.
So we entered Podgorica and went to the stadium (we needed nearly an hour to find it as it more looks like a shopping mall) and went to the second shop of Italsport. In fact they sold a couple of Montenegro shirt. Some fakes and this original!
As red/yellow is one of my favorite colour-combinations I absolutely love the shirt and as always Legea did a great job with all details.
Besides that I can only recommend Montenegro as a tourist destination. I shouldn't tell anybody to avoid masses of tourists entering Montenegro, but to be fair it is one of the greatest countries I have ever been to offering all from amazing canyons (Tara Canyon) to historic medieval cities like Kotor to great beaches in Budva or Bar. All this in a size that allows you to cross the whole country in 3 hours in each direction! This little country is purely and seriously gifted!

South Sudan

 Thanks a lot to Nick for this South Sudan shirts. Nick bought the shirt directly from AMS and does stock those shirts in his own online shop now.
AMS Clothing, an Australian brand, is an amazing start-up that concentrates on equipping African "smaller" national teams and makes them easily available for fans worldwide. It was founded by another shirt collector, Luke Westcott, from Melbourne. When Luke struggled to finish his collection (as we all do) he started to print a couple of shirts on his own, which means he bought the same templates and ironed on the badges then. He also sold a couple of those professionally done replicas and thus could allow himself to found a new shirt supplier that currently equips South Sudan and also the Sierra Leone national team.
The shirt itself has a cracking design and has a shirt can have: colours, random "swooshes" and the flag. Just a great combination. The only thing that makes it a look a bit "cheap" is the print-on logo. I hope AMS chooses to iron on or glue their next logo to have an excellent shirt!






Samstag, 11. Oktober 2014

Kazakhstan

I bought this nice Kazakhstan 2009 shirt made by Umbro on ebay.de for a fair 29,90€. It is again a fairly "simple" design, but is of course an important addition to my collection, especially as it helps to get another big area on my world map green! ;)

Darfur United 2

 This is my second shirt of Darfur United and I love that even more than the first one for 2 reasons:
1. I played a little part in the enormous puzzle to bring Darfur United to the first ConIFA World Football Cup in Sweden this year, so this is an amazing memory to me and I will never ever forget the great people from the team and management I met in Östersund. Thanks to everybody of the team again for making this tournament such a success!
2. I love the "sponsor" and the badge saying "HUMANITY before Politics" as this somehow reflects the whole idea of ConIFA! As a humanitary act we should allow everybody to give them a space to present themselves, no matter what politics make of "them" or their territory!

The shirt itself was a gift by the FA and was sent to me about a month after the World Football Cup as a little thank you for the work I did for ConIFA as the general secretary. I appreciate that gift a lot and will keep it as a very special collectible!
The picture above is from the team wearing the shirt in their second-last match against Nagorno-Karabakh that they lost (as the other matches, too). Nevertheless and much more important the players had a lot of fun and met a lot of new friends in all their "opponents".


Szekely Land

Szekely Land is a new member of ConIFA that joined during 2014 and until today only played 2 friendlies (a loss vs. Debreceni VSC and a win against Karpatya). The team is made up of "Szekler People" from "Szekely Land" an Hungarian-speaking region within Romania.
Kristof Wenczel is leading the team from the little city of Tusnafürdö in the middle of Szekely Land and is doing brilliant by keeping the FA growing and making international contacts.
When he heard that I collect football shirts he directly happily sent me a shirt of the team. Thanks a lot for that Kristof!
The shirt is made by Macron, a South American company, and is in sky blue and has golden printings. What a amazing combination!
I hope to see and personally meet Szekelyföld FA and the team soon and wish them all the best! Thanks again for the shirt!

Comoros

 
Yes indeed, I got a Comoros shirt! The Comoros are - in national team shirt collection - something like the holy grail. It is definitely one of the 5 most rare shirts in the world and in fact I only ever saw one legit Comoros shirt in any collection so far - unsurprisingly this is Nick of course.
The shirt itself is... well, boring. It is a plain white shirt with a fancy green triangle on only one side on the bottom. There is no supplier on the shirt at all but a very cool looking logo of the Comoros FA.
Unfortunatel I was not able to find a picture of this shirt in use, but at least I found a picture of the home version of the same design, which was worn end of 2011 in a match agains Mozambique to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.
The shirt came to me from a Comorian football legend. No, not a player or coach, but the only sport journalists from the little island nation. His name is Elie Djouma and fantastically he is doing a blog about sport on the Comoros, which makes the Comoros one of the better covered nations of the "little" ones in Africa. While it is impossible to find out anything about football in Sao Tome and Principe or Madagascar it is easily accessible for the Comoros thanks to him. Find the blog here !
The way I got this shirt was thrilling and I nearly gave up a couple of times. I got into contact with Elie about 2 and half year ago and paid the shirt straight away through WesternUnion. With 30€ it was a very good price for such a rarity. Unfortunately Elie struggled to first find the shirt for me as the FA did not want to give it away and then to send it over as post is not reliable on the islands. So it took all the 2 and half years until his dad took it over to France after he visited the Comoros to visit his family and send it over to me.
Nevertheless Elie always prooved to be reliable and answered me straight away whenever I contacted him and, in addition, he offered me to just hand back the money a couple of times.
So Elie deserves all the thanks for this absolutel gem of a shirt!

Sonntag, 22. Juni 2014

County of Nice



I am very happy to get hold of this shirt of the first ConIFA World Champion! My French is not good, but I understand a loud shouted "Champion du Monde" as you can see it in this "welcome back" video of the arrivel of the team at the airport in Nice...as champions du monde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx5aEH3ndKw

The County of Nice had an amazing story before and during the World Football Cup. After Zanzibar and Quebec resigned ConIFA invited County of Nice and South Ossetia in a very short notice of approx 5 weeks before the tournament. Especially Nice did not even have a squad or coach when they got the mail that they are on board! What then happened was amazing. They gathered a squad including French stars like former Paris St. Germain and AS Monaco playr Eric Cubilier and many youth players from OGC Nice. They found support of the assistant manager of OGC Nice as their head coach. They got promotion help of Hugo Lloris, who officially presented their shirt, during his training camps for Brazil.
The expectation were amazing when the newly gathered team came to Östersund. In their very first match, against Ellan Vannin, everything seemed to be in danger already as they lost 4:2. It was obvious to see for everybody that those lads were good footballers, but not a team yet.
So they had a first all-or-nothing match against Nagorno-Karabakh, which was in the same situation, but would go through if they just hold a draw. In an extremely intense match, with 2 red cards, County of Nice was able to score the only goal.
So they went through to quarters, where they played as a great team for the first time and kicked out favorite Padania with a 2:1 win. They then hammered the other reserve team South Ossetia in the semis before they won the goalless final against Ellan Vannin after penalties.
I want to use that few lines to thank the whole management of County of Nice for the shirt and especially the players for entertaining us so perfectly with that amazing football. But I also have to thank the up to 5,000 Nicards who watched the final on huge public places. Enjoy your well-deserved fame now dear Champion du Monde ;)
The shirt itself is quite simple, but especially the logo is very lovely. Obviously 5 weeks were not enough to create a very sophisticated unique design this time. But I am sure we will see the current World Champion way more often in future!