Despite finishing runners-up the previous season, it was City, rather than champions Dundalk, who were invited to take part in the Shanghai International Football Tournament, which was played to mark the Chinese city's 750th anniversary. As they were representing Ireland, City wore the Irish kits of the time (left), which had been seen in the previous year's World Cup, though the club crest and Guinness logo were included.
Upon their return to Ireland, City retained the numbered shorts worn in China, and they were used for the friendly with Celtic at Musgrave Park (right). The Bhoys turned up in their usual green-and-white hooped shirts, however, and the confusion between the teams led to City changing to the 'pigeon' shirts at half-time, which jarred with the green shorts and socks (top right). For the next friendly, with Leeds, City wore the change kit from the start (right), with red shorts and new white and red socks, which were then worn with the home kit against Manchester City and in the early rounds of the Munster Senior Cup (far right).
By the time the league started, however, a brand-new, unique, design was worn. While white remained as the primary colour, large green and red stripes now travelled from the right shoulder diagonally across the shirt, with the Guinness logo not completely legible (top left of image below). It was in this kit that City drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup at Musgrave Park, Dave Barry (who, according to legend, did a plumbing job in the city in the morning before the afternoon kick-off) scoring. Barry didn't impress everyone, with Stefan Effenberg saying that he looked like his father, though the City midfielder retorted that Effenberg played like his mother.
Bayern won the second leg 2-0 in the Olympiastadion, leaving City still looking for a first victory in European competition, while a slow start in the league meant that hopes of a second consecutive title challenge were handicapped almost before they started. This was despite the team - shorn of Fergus O'Donoghue, who had joined Cambridge United - having been bolstered by the additions of left-back Stephen Napier and midfielders Jerry McCabe, Declan Roche and Mike Mellon.
In November, a new variation of the shirt was worn, with the stripes broken to allow the Guinness logo to be seen (top right of image on left). By the time long-sleeved shirts arrived, however, the stripes were of the more common style seen on adidas's various teams around Europe such as Bayern, Liverpool, Spartak Moscow (middle left of image on left). A rarely seen long-sleeved version of the initial design was worn on occasion too, with numberless shorts (middle right, presumably this was in the middle of a busy run of games and the 'main' set was being laundered).
When clashes arose, there was little consistency. Away to Dundalk in September, the same kit as had been worn against Leeds was used, but for the trip to Shamrock Rovers in December a pair of plain red socks were worn (above right). For the second game in Dundalk in February, however, the previous Arsenal-style away was pulled out of the cupboard, paired with white socks.
Another change of socks was seen for the away game with St Patrick's Athletic in January. As Pat's had white socks, City were forced to recall the green for one game only, John Caulfield scoring a hat-trick in a 4-2 win (bottom left of large image). By the time the league season ended, City had managed to haul themselves up to third place in the table, a point behind second-placed Derry City and six adrift of champions Shelbourne.
The quest for a first-ever FAI Cup remained strong, and it was with another victory against Pat's, Paul Bannon scoring in a 1-0 win in front of a packed Cross, that a second final in four years were reached. As with the previous year, though, Dave Tilson was the villain of the piece, scoring the only goal as Bohemians triumphed 1-0 against City, who wore the inscription 'FAI CUP FINAL' above the crest (bottom right of large image).