EXCLUSIVE: Socceroo Brett Emerton has given the national team's new Nike kit the thumbs up and says players are always excited when an updated green and gold strip is launched.
Emmo, have you seen the new kit?
I have. I’ve been sent one and I’m very impressed with it. Obviously we were lucky enough to wear the away version against Saudi Arabia last February. I think the general consensus when we wore that away kit was that it was great and this home strip is as good, even better. Hopefully it’ll be a kit in which we will have qualified in for another World Cup. As players we’re always excited to wear this strip and feel good about ourselves so maybe it’ll make us feel even better and give us a winning edge.
When a new Socceroo kit launches is it a hot topic amongst the boys? Are you all texting each other with opinions and verdicts?
Yeah, 100 percent. As players we always we look forward to wearing new gear.
Nike has gone with a stripe this time, how does that strike you?
I like it. It’s something a little bit different to what we’ve had for some time now. Overall it looks great, very happy. And we’ll wear it against Japan in June for the first time, which is a new phase in qualification, which we’re all looking forward to.
Nike reckon it’s 23% lighter than previous versions, handy when you’re playing across the Middle East and Asia for a spot in Brazil…
Having a kit so light it feels good around the body. The last thing you want in hot conditions is a sweaty, sticky shirt. It feels good and perhaps just as important, it looks good too. So you feel good about yourself. It’s no good having a kit you don’t feel comfortable in. It’d be terrible.
Are you aware of the environmental work gone into the kit’s production?
I think it’s an awesome concept. When they told me the shirt had been made out of recycled bottles I found it hard to comprehend. To be able to produce something that looks good, feels good and on top of that is environmentally friendly as well is just a great achievement.
Nike’s launched a whole lot of new national team kits, what’s it like to be part of this global community?
It’s great. I’ve been with Nike for many years now and they’re always trying to be one step ahead of the rest and giving you that little edge over your competition. It’s great to be part of it and see the advances in clothing and footwear. In my short career alone there’s been pretty dramatic advances. I’m just happy to be part of it and happy to be one of the first to sample it.
As a junior, which is the first Socceroo kit you can remember?
I think one of my earliest memories of a Socceroo kit was the one which looked like a pizza! Can’t remember which brand it was but it was probably one of my earliest memories.
So will there ever be a day when the Socceroos unleash their creativity and come up with a new shirt design of their own?
[Laughs]. Probably not! There’d be too many arguments from the boys about who think what looks good. At the moment we’ll leave it to the experts, who I’d say seem to be doing okay.