Over recent years, the pull up at international training camps has become an event in itself, with players rolling up and expressing themselves in the latest streetwear. But there’s one team that's noticeably not getting on board with this new trend: England. So are the Three lions missing out on an opportunity to move with the times and naturally grow an existing connection with fans?

International breaks have created another dimension to the action on the pitch, one that’s more intrinsically linked to the direction football culture has been expanding in over the last decade. As players arrive at their respective training camps there’s the chance to show off the latest streetwear items as they mosey from their car to their accommodation, cameras snapping, suitcases rolling in what is a fashion-forward environment that’s to be embraced. It’s a trend that’s emblematic of where football finds itself as a whole right now; the thirst for off-pitch culture, characters of the game and a look behind the scenes, all combining organically.

France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany are just a few of the International sides that have been leading the line when it comes to off pitch fits and the stylish strides that now go hand in hand with the international break. The influence of football x fashion has never been stronger, and taking a leaf out of the NBA playbook, the catwalk-esque arrival scenes at the likes of Clairefontaine and the KNVB Campus have served to elevate the status of streetwear and fashion in football even further.

However, despite the fact that the current crop of England stars is one of the most streetwear/fashion conscious squads in the nation’s history (Jack Grealish as a Gucci ambassador anyone?), the England squad still turn up to St. George's Park in their FA-supplied tracksuits and variations thereof. Now, the likelihood is that this dress code is mandatory, and the players are obligated to wear the Three Lions-adorned kit as part of The FA’s regulations. But it’s just a bit… well, uniform to be honest, impersonal and devoid of any real personality.

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It seems like a tap in when it comes to growing engagement with an ever-evolving fanbase to let the players turn up in their choice of attire. Sure, once you’re there you suit up in the team’s training gear, that’s a given, but the arrival would give a further look into the characters behind the superstar players, something that the current fanbase craves. Every now and then a Tomori or Abraham may bend the rules and either show up in something other than the standard setup, or they may accessorise through sneakers or caps, and it instantly offers up a more relaxed vibe, granting a more personal feel to the affair.

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The FA have made huge strides in terms of breaking down barriers between what was once an inaccessible squad, placed on a pedestal and only viewed through TV screens. Through excellent leverage of social media and the introduction of content like The Lions Den show, accessibility to the squad has never been better. Things like behind the scenes coverage during tournaments has arguably led to a stronger relationship between fans and the national squad than ever before. Still, it feels like this is all rolled out under the control of the FA. While the efforts have to be applauded, it’s the institution, not the individuals. So, now it’s about taking that next step and exploring further untouched territory: the emergence of football and fashion and the legacy it's leaving.

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It’s a path that also leads to further intriguing possibilities about where the national team’s wider collections could potentially go. If all of a sudden The FA said they wanted England to be the most fashionable brand on the international stage, then they could be turned into the envy of the planet. You only have to look at PSG as an example of what’s possible in this arena, and no international team has properly embraced it yet.

A visit to St George’s Park is dominated by the Swoosh, so The FA could even turn to their existing partnership with Nike, along with other creative agencies, to give England collections more of a fashion spin. The Martine Rose x Nike collection showed a dipped toe into England collections being given a fashion spin, but the appetite is there for more. So, does this actually present Nike with more of an opportunity to be more creative? Could they – and should they – go beyond just the standard outfits, embracing the fashion-forward future by bringing more NikeLab and Nike ACG into off pitch apparel for example. If the players were put into more fashion-based lifestyle pieces during their downtime, Nike could own the entire squad’s off-pitch look.



Sure there will be plenty of people shouting that priorities should first and foremost be on the pitch, and this exploration of the Three Lions’ potential in a fashion space comes on the back of a run of five games without a win, and look, we’re not arguing with that. All fans want their team to perform and win first and foremost. But beyond that, the potential is there. It’s a realm that the FA have yet to explore but that is ripe for exploiting, and it could all start with a simple switch up for the pull up.

Shop the England 22/23 collection at prodirectsoccer.com