The China Arena Football League – CAFL – is taking its next, huge step as it moves towards the inaugural season start. The schedules are set, the arenas are booked, the teams have hometowns, arenas, logos, names and coaches. The league will now add players in the first ever football draft for China’s first US-style professional football league!
On June 10 at 8 PM Eastern, the CAFL will stream live the league’s first ever player draft, The CAFL Draft Show. By luck of the draw, the Guangzhou Power will select first, followed by Guangzhou, the Dalian Dragon Kings, Shanghai Skywalkers, Shenzhen Naja, Qingdao Clipper and Beijing Lions to finish the first round. The teams will then reverse order again and again until each team has selected 20 players.
Fans on both sides of the world will be able to follow the selections, trades and strategic maneuvers of the six head coaches by going to the CAFL official webs sites in both countries. In the US, the CAFL Draft Show can be seen live at www.CAFLfootball.com while in China, locals can view the show, translated into Mandarin, at the newly launched www.CAFLChina.com.
“We want this presentation to be indicative of our first rate, professional approach to our first season,” said David Niu, president of AFL-Global, the parent company of the CAFL. “Our teams of coaches and scouts have been assembling a data base of veteran pros, but also have their eye on many hopefuls inside China after our two open tryouts camps there last month.”
Over 500 players have registered for the draft, including many current US AFL star players, as well as standouts from Germany, Spain and Italy.
The CAFL Draft Show will be anchored in the US by veteran sports broadcaster Lou Tilley, who will be joined in studio by football experts from both the US and China. Ed Wang will serve as a studio analyst. The former Virginia Tech and NFL standout lineman is the son of two native China Olympic athletes, and heads the CAFL’s Beijing office. Ed’s brother David, also a standout at Virginia Tech, is expected to be selected in the first round.
Clint Dolezel, the current head coach of the Philadelphia Soul, who will coach the Beijing Lions in the CAFL, will join the studio analysis, as will former NFL player and current AFL coach Phil Bogle. Other special guests will include CAFL and AFL-Global founder Marty Judge, along with founding partners Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil.
At the end of the telecast, all team rosters will be revealed, with a full text release to follow on the official CAFL websites. Following the premier showing of The CAFL Draft Show, the full program may be viewed at any time, on demand, at the web sites.