As Irish football enters a new era both on and off the pitch, it is perhaps fitting that our national teams are set to undergo a major rebrand.
Supporters have long been calling out for a change to the Ireland crest. The current iteration, which was first introduced in 2004, has not proven to be the most popular. Many feel that it is a bit too generic and doesn't stack up to the some of the fantastic emblems that have donned Irish shirts in the past.
To their credit, the FAI have listened to the demands of the fans. They have long said that a rebrand was on the way, with the changes set to be implemented soon, presumably in the lead-up to the men's international window later this month.
Fittingly, this will also coincide with the addition of a new kit supplier. As a result, there will be a logo on the jerseys for the March window.
It is an exciting time for Ireland fans, who will no be delighted to see the men's and women's teams given a new lease of life to mark the progress made under Stephen Kenny and Vera Pauw respectively.
The only question is, what do they want to see in these changes?
Ireland fans are hoping for big overhaul of crest and kit
When it comes to the crest, there is one thing that almost every fans agrees on: It's time to bring back the Shamrock.
Prior to the change in 2004, the shamrock had been a staple of Ireland crests since the formation of the FAI.
It would be a hugely popular move to reincorporate it into the new design, as evidence by the reaction to the centenary kit donned against Qatar back in 2021.
Many called for that crest to become a permanent addition to the Ireland kit, so you'd imagine the new one will have some similarities.
It would be a very popular change.
Last week, Irish manufacturer O'Neills released a post on their social media channels which talked about 'bringing back the shamrock'. Many felt this was a nod to an upcoming Ireland partnership and new kit release, and the excitement displayed over that particular crest was a good example of what the fans are hoping to see.
Bringing back the shamrock☘️
— O'Neills (@ONeills1918) March 2, 2023
As it turns out, it had nothing to do with the Republic of Ireland and was simply relating to a more generic retro style jersey being released by O'Neills.
It seems that they will not be involved in the upcoming rebrand.
While many fans will have their own personal favourite potential manufacturers in mind, they will no doubt row in behind anyone who supplies a striking looking jersey.
What sort of kit would be popular among the supporter base?
Based on how well the centenary kit went down, a more stripped back look would no doubt be a hit. Retro or throwback kits have proven to be popular among both clubs and international sides in recent seasons and a nod back to some of our most iconic kits in the past would go down well.
A move should be made away from overpowering or geometric designs, although a more solid colour pallet on kits seems to be the travel of direction for many manufacturers.
One possible addition that could be made would be a nod to our national flag.
Orange is a colour that has rarely been used in Ireland kits over the years, but when it is done right, it can add quite a bit in terms of aesthetics. We're not talking about a huge amount of it, even something as simple as an orange trim could be nice to see.
The kit used at Euro 2016, which was probably Ireland's nicest home kit of the last couple of decades, is an excellent example.
Stick a shamrock crest on something not dissimilar to that and we're in business. For the away kit, maybe the blue that we saw on a one-off basis against in 2021 could be brought back on a more permanent basis?
In summary, the fans are looking for fairly straightforward changes. They want a stripped back crest in which the shamrock features prominently, as was the case for the centenary kit.
As for the jersey itself, a simple and slightly retro looking effort would be great to see.
Of course, Ireland fans will buy and wear the jersey proudly no matter what it looks like. In saying that, wouldn't it be great to have a jersey and crest that reminded fans of our greatest days?