2008-2009 - "Sky TV" home shirt - Michalik 6

Net Flights

The Shirt

This shirt was only worn during the 2008/2009 season. A season which saw Leeds slump to one of the worst defeats in their history before experiencing a resurgence of form following the arrival of a new young manager, Simon Grayson.

The shirt was Leeds' first to be manufactured by Italian sports firm macron and is made of a thick polyester material. By the 2008/2009 season the same spec shirts worn by the players were sold in the club shop at Elland Road. However this shirt was never available to the general public.

Towards the end of the season Leeds were picked for two televised Sky games - away to Oldham Athletic and home to Millwall. Leeds' sponsor, Netflights, requested that new shirts were to be used with a darker sponsor so that it would be clearer for the television audience. The two tone Netflights logo was replaced with an all dark blue version for just those two games - making this shirt very rare.

You can see Luciano Becchio celebrating his goal against Oldham Athletic wearing the dark blue version and Fabian Delph wearing the original version of the shirt in another game in the gallery to the right.

The Season

2009/2010 was a typical season of highs and lows for Leeds. Having reached the League 1 Playoff Final in the previous season, expectations were high amongst fans for promotion under the guidance of Leeds manager Gary McAllister. Unfortunately by Christmas Leeds had suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in their history and McAllister had been shown the door.

In the close season Leeds bolstered their squad with the arrivals of Andy Robinson, Alan Sheehan, Enoch Showunmi, young Scottish winger Rob Snodgrass and the Argentinean, Luciano Becchio.

Leeds started the season brightly with a 2-1 win over Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park. Unfortunately the teams form took a turn for the worse in November culminating in a shock FA Cup 2nd Round exit to non-league minnows Histon. By December Ken Bates had lost confidence in McAllister and he was removed from his position. In came a surprise appointment in Blackpool manager, and former Leeds youngster, Simon Grayson.

Under Grayson Leeds experienced a resurgence in form resulting in them making the play offs for a second successive season - a real achievement for Grayson considering Leeds' position when he took over. Sadly Leeds were not destined to reach Wembley for the second season running as they were knocked out by Millwall in the two legged semi final.

The Player

The shirt was worn by Leeds defender Lubomir Michalik. The Slovak initially joined Leeds on loan from Premiership side Bolton Wanderers in the previous season before making a permanent move in the 2008 January transfer window. The transfer fee was undisclosed but was believed to be in the region of £500,000.

Michalik was named as a substitute for the televised games against Millwall on the 9th February and Oldham Athletic on the 2nd March - the only two matches where this style of shirt was used.

Image Gallery