Despite having led the club to its first league title, Noel O'Mahony decided to step down at the end of the 1992-93 season, and was replaced by former Gillingham and Republic of Ireland striker Damien Richardson, who had also picked up some prior managerial experience with the Gills. Of the league-winning side, midfielder Jerry McCabe had moved on while Paul Bannon had retired, but Tommy Gaynor joined from Nottingham Forest to provide another attacking option. Central defender Paul Hague, familiar to Richardson from Gillingham, joined on loan but his spell did not last long, his replacment loan signing, Derby County's Justin Phillips, having a more successful stay.
City prepared for their first entry into the European Cup with a home defeat in a friendly against Leeds United, losing 3-0, and that set the tone for their continental game with Welsh champions Cwmbran Town. That too was 3-0 at one stage, but late goals from John Caulfield and Anthony Buckley gave City hope ahead of the second leg, which was to take place on September 1.
In the opening league games against Monaghan United and Derry City, the previous season's kit was worn (top left of image on left) while the red was used, with new shorts, against Leeds and Cwmbran (top right) but two new designs were in the pipeline, and both would be huge departures from anything that had gone before. The new home kit was first seen in the Cwmbran second leg, and for a description perhaps it's best to defer to reaction of the Welshman standing next to my father and I at Turner's Cross, who described it as "like toothpaste".
The green, white and red striped shirts were one thing, but having one of the legs of the shorts striped too seemed to be overkill. Initially, the proper socks were not ready so red ones had to be used (top of image on left), though for some reason two designs were seen. City beat Cwmbran 2-1, Johnny Glynn's late goal ensured an away-goals win to set up a clash with Turkish side Galatasaray. A notable feature of the new shirt was the subtle weaving of the club crest throughout the fabric (right, you might have to squint). The red away was last seen in the 3-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers (above right), though oddly older white shorts and two two red sock designs were used. For the game against Drogheda United in late September, the previous white socks replaced red (far left). These were used in the game in Turkey, a 2-1 loss, and the home leg - which was played at Bishopstown, with the stand now open - though by this stage the shirts had changed, the adidas and Guinness logos, as well as the numbers, now on white backgrounds (left).
The change didn't help, unfortunately, as Kubilay Turkyilmaz scored the only goal of the game, City having had chances to go ahead on the day and take the lead in the tie, and things got worse as Galatasaray were then drawn with, and knocked out, Manchester United in the next round. With the focus back on domestic matters, the new green socks finally arrived (bottom right of main image on left) and results stayed strong.Shamrock Rovers' results were stronger, however, and they led by eight points as the season moved into December, making the top-of-the-table clash between the sides in early December of the utmost importance. It was perhaps odd that City chose that home game as the platform to launch the new away strip, an all-black affair (right), but seemingly the idea was that Rovers could play in their usual green and white hoops. There was a mix-up, however, and both sides played in their change kits in the 2-2 draw, Rovers clad in purple, with City also drawing some fire from the league for the colour of their kit, as the referee and linesmen were force into a change to light blue at short notice.
Despite this, the black kit continued to be used throughout December and in the early part of January, and it has to be said that it was quite an attractive strip. Based on the same design that Liverpool introduced for 93-94, the black was accented with yellow while the same fabric as the home, with the crest featuring, was used. The normal home kit returned for the 4-2 win over Derry on January 23 (when the site's author was mascot - in the black kit. More anon), and while Rovers suffered a shock defeat at home to Galway United that day, it did not usher in a collapse on the part of the Dublin club, and they eventually won a first title in seven years. City finished second, seven points behind, but defending the title was always going to be a big ask and the club would go into the 1994-95 season as one of the favourites for the title.