Never Released: 4 Ireland Prototype Kits 'Leaked'

Four never-seen-before Ireland prototype shirts made by Umbro were shared this week by Jonathan Courtenay on twitter. Courtenay is managing director of JACC Sports, the company that handles Umbro's distribution in Ireland. Two of the prototype shirts he showed off were possible home jerseys, while two were considered as away strips.

Umbro Ireland Prototype Shirts

The photo below show the first prototype Ireland home kit.

This shirt was surely in the running to be Ireland's home kit in 2021. It has a similar colour scheme and overall template, but is perhaps a little bit less detailed than the final version. Some of the features were eventually used for the 2021 home shirt, while other aspects of this shirt, like the collar, went into the final design for the 2021 Ireland women's shirt.

Ireland men's and women's 2021 home kits.

Prototype Home Shirt 2

This shirt may have been an option for the 2016 home kit.

The shiny diagonal lines were present on the final 2016 kit, while the v neck collar seen here was switched out for a polo collar. The white trim under the sleeves was also enlarged for the final shirt.

One interesting part of this prototype design is the alternative coloring of the FAI badge, which features orange a lot more prominently than most Ireland kits to carry this incarnation of the crest.

Prototype Away Kit 1

This one is a dead ringer for the 2012 away kit, but with a different main color.

This grey shirt has all of the elements of the away shirt that was used at Euro 2012, but the color made way for white in the end. The grey tone of the fabric makes it look softer than the white version, although this could be just because it is easier to see the detail on the grey version.

The green stripe running through the badge, polo collar, and green trim on the sleeves remained identical, as did the inside of the collar.

Prototype Away Kit 2

This shirt is the pick of the bunch and would likely have been a popular kit had it been released.

A very clean, hooped design in black and grey with a simple crew neck collar and regular cut. It is unclear during which period that this shirt was proposed as an away option. Ireland had a different take on a hooped shirt in 2016, when the body was plain white and the sleeves featured green hoops.

2016 away and 2013 away shirts.

They also had a two-tone striped grey away shirt with a polo collar in 2013, which bore a crest with the same colour blocking as the prototype. In both of these instances, a strong case could be made that the prototype would have been a better choice.

What do you think of these prototype shirts? How do they compare to the final versions? Have your say below.