The 02/03 season saw Scottish attacking midfielder Eoin Jess arrive at Nottingham Forest who would finish 6th in his first season, just inside the play-off spots, however they were defeated in the first round by Sheffield Utd. The 18 time capped Scot would go on to play 86 times for Forest over a 3 season spell which saw promotion hopes turn into league relegation.
Starting his career in Aberdeen, he would play over 200 games for the don’s before making his first move down to the Premier League with Coventry City where he would play along side fellow Scots Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan as they finished just above the drop zone in 17th place. After that one season in England, Jess would return north to Aberdeen where he would bring his total appearances with the club to over 300, ranking himself 11th in the Aberdeen all time appearance rankings.
A season loan and then a permanent move to Bradford City followed before he reached Nottingham Forest. Arriving as promotion hopefuls, it was not long before they were relegated down to the third tier of English football. They would stay in league one until they were promoted back to the championship in 07/08 where they most recently finished in a respectable 9th.
Nottingham Forest had began using Umbro kits in 1986 with them using their famous red as the main home colour but the away and third kits would catch the eye during the Umbro tenure as they would go through yellow, blue, white and green kits with some being more bizarre than the next. Forest would finish with Umbro and go back to Adidas before moving to current kit makers Macron.
This kit also features the sponsor of ‘Pinnacle Insurance’ who sponsored the top for five seasons between 98/99 to 02/03.
Regular subscribers to The Kit Rail will know that we’ve already covered Willie Pettigrew with his stunning Dundee United 1981 Scottish Cup Final Jersey. For that reason we are covering Willie’s full Scotland international career, from the under 23’s through to his last full cap.
Scotland Under 23’s
He made his international debut for the under 23 side, at the age of 21, in a friendly match in Sweden that was played on the 16th of April 1975. Scotland won this fixture 2-1.
A European Championship clash in Romania would see Willie score his first international goal in another 2-1 win coming on the 31st of May 1975.
Next up would be a double header against Denmark with Scotland securing a crucial 1-0 win away, on the 2nd of September 1975, and adding yet another victory, this time beating the Danish 4-1 on the 28th of October 1975.
Pettigrew ended the international calendar year with another European Championship Victory, grabbing himself a brace in a 4-0 destruction of Romania at Brockville on the 16th of December 1975. This result saw Scotland top their group and continue through the tournament.
Willie’s sixth and penultimate under 23 cap would come against Wales at Wrexhams Racecourse Ground on the 4th of February. During this game, Willie would score another brace to secure a narrow 3-2 victory for the Scots. We covered this match when we featured the Joey Jones jersey not too long ago.
The last cap to come for Willie Pettigrew would be in the second leg of the Under 23 European Championship Quarter Finals as Scotland took on The Netherlands in front of an amazing 32,000 fans at Easter Road, home of Hibernian, on the 24th of March 1976. Scotland lost the first game 2-0 (a game that Willie missed due to injury). Scotland would win the second game 2-0 but would lose on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate score. You can find more details on this match as we covered it during the Jan Everse jersey.
In all Willie started 7 games at under 23 level winning all seven and grabbing himself five goals in the process.
Full International Career
2 weeks after his last under 23 cap, Willie would make his full international debut and what a debut it would be.
A home friendly versus Switzerland on the 7th of April 1976 would see Willie net his first goal after only 2 minutes. This would be the only goal of the game as Scotland would win the game 1-0. This game has also been covered as we featured Rene Hasler earlier this week.
Cap number two would again see Willie find the net, scoring the first goal in a 3-1 win over Wales at Hampden Park on the 6th of May 1976. You can see more of this game and jersey on Terry Yorath’s page on the The Kit Rail.
A few days later would come cap number three which would see Scotland beat Northern Ireland convincingly in a 3-0 win at Hampden Park with goals from Gemmill, Masson and Dalglish.
Willie would have to wait six months for cap number four which would be a world cup qualifier against Wales. We would see another victory for Scotland and Pettigrew as the Scots would beat Wales 1-0.
Willie’s fifth and final cap would come on the 27th of April 1977 and would see Scotland run out as winners in a 3-1 victory against Sweden with goals coming from Hartford, Dalglish and Joe Crag.
Willie would play five times for his country, scoring two goals in the process and would be in the winning team on all five occasions. If you add Willie’s under 23 appearances, you end up with an impressive 12 games representing Scotland, 12 victories and a highly commendable 7 goals.
As the international stage is being set, I thought to look at how the current club football scene has been doing, with the first league that we look at being the Hyundai A-League which is the top league of Australian football. Just as it is concluding with some great fixtures up ahead, it will be worth a watch if you’re looking to watch even more football than the Euros.
Drawing similarities to Scottish football, the A-League only consists of 12 teams with this season 11 being from Australia and one from New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix. Each team plays each other three times and the winner is presented with the Premiers’ Plate and qualify for the Asian Champions League. There is no relegation for the bottom team in the league.
However the top 6 teams break away from the others and play a knockout tournament called the Finals Series with the top two teams getting a bye in the first round. The winner of Finals Series is crowned champions of the A-League and also qualify for the ACL.
That’s the rules out the way, now onto the teams and who you should be supporting:
At the top of the tree we have Melbourne City FC who have just won their first Premier Plate after finishing runners up last season. Not only do they sound similar but they wear the same colour, share the same shirt sponsor and are also owned by Manchester City owners City Football Group. Although all their transfers this season have joined for nothing, it is reported that Melbourne City have the highest wages in the league. If you are a fan wanting to watch a team grow and could possibly take over the A-League, Melbourne City are for you.
Second in the league are Sydney FC who are looking to build on their success of last season and reclaim their A-League trophy. Sydney FC are the most decorated team in the division with 4 Premiership Plates and 5 A-League Trophies. Glory hunters, Sydney FC are the team to follow. Also to note that former Premier League striker Adam Le Fondre is currently on their books but was loaned out to Mumbai City for this season.
A team for the outsiders would be 4th placed side Brisbane Roar. Winners of 2 Premier Plates and 3 A-League titles while also being the first team to win back to back titles, the roar are looking for success with their last piece of silverware coming way back in 2014. Ex-Motherwell favourite and centre half Tom Aldred is the current captain of Brisbane Roar and will be looking to lift something by the end of the season. Sporting a bright orange home kit with a lion as their crest, they are definitely a team you cannot miss.
If you just like the look of a team based on their badge and kits then look no further than Perth Glory who may have finished 9th in the table but they looked good doing it. Winning trophies is the last thing on their mind with only one title since the beginning of the A-League in 04/05, it’s the kits that you’ll be embracing as the white and purple mixes perfectly and you can’t forget about the Perth badge which I would put up there with the best designed in world football.
Shout out the other teams in the division include Melbourne City FC rivals Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets, Western United, new boys to the league MacArthur FC and the only New Zealand side Wellington Phoenix.
Starting his career off at Kilmarnock in 2004, Naismith would make 71 appearances while scoring 24 goals that would help secure a move to Glasgow to join Rangers in 2007. After spending five years with the Gers’, winning three league titles, a Scottish Cup and two League Cups, Steven would make a move down south to Premier league outfit Everton. Three and a half years at the Toffee’s and 123 appearances later, Naismith would move to Norwich in a fight to keep them in the top division. Unfortunately his talents were not enough to help the fight and Norwich were relegated and after a full season in the English Championship, a move to Hearts on loan would help secure them a top six finish in the Scottish Premiership and a permanent move was made for just over one million pounds.
We will be having a look into his time at Everton and then diving deep into this jersey from Everton’s 15-16 campaign where Naismith made ten appearances before making the switch to Norwich in January 2016.
During the 15-16 campaign, Naismith’s three goals would all come in the same game as Everton overcame Chelsea 3-1 as Naismith came on as a substitute in the ninth minute due to an injury on Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic.
This top is very similar to most Everton kits around this time as most use the blue and white template and sport the synonymous Chang beer. However Umbro have placed a lot of small details to be found within it such as the Latin under the badge, ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’, which translates to only the best is good enough. An NSNO can also be found on the back of the neck.
The top would not be complete without the Barclays Premier League patches on the sleeves and the lion on the Barclays lion on the bottom of each number.