Diary of a Producer Week 2: Follow AFI’s Allan Price on his Football Adventure in China with CAFL

Week 2 is in the books (and on the hard drives), as we drive back into the final sunset in the multi-bus convoy of CAFL (China Arena Football League) players, coaches and staff from the training fields.

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In a week of firsts on many fronts, the CAFL is passing through its latest milestone – the conclusion of the off-season period and the first official day of training camp. With the arrival of the US players, each of the 6 teams are now united and beginning their journeys towards the championship podium, waiting patiently in Shanghai for them. It is the first time they have all been together in the same place, and the first time the world can see their first glimpse of the CAFL’s awakening.

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Amongst all of this, it is noteworthy that 130+ players and the league entourage have now converged on the hotel, and have taken over in force. Dedicated rooms for medical care, film study, equipment preparation, private dining halls, operations offices and laundry all take over an entire floor, and staff have undoubtedly memorized the faces of us all by now. All underpinned by the quiet work of the league staff and the mobile operations team that stitch all the elements together.

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For the media team, it is yet another step up in gear as we match the hectic schedule stride for stride, to create a catalogue of content to distribute to fans across the world. Through written, photo, video & social media the team are aiming to provide an insight into not only the scores and statistics, but the entire environment. Work is carried out at the practices, and also in the hotel – our initial media day paired with the unveiling of the new practice jersey designs to give the players their first moments in the spotlight.

What lies under the surface is a bubbling excitement, which can be seen in the players during their training & off-field attitude, but also an urgency to show the world what the league can achieve combined with an heir of professionalism to do it in the right way – an attitude we share here in the media core.

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Counting down with less than 2 weeks until opening night, and the race is on for everyone to step up even more. As I said last time – we’re still at the grind….

Allan Price
Allan was the Presenter and Co-Producer of Gridiron TV for 4 years, and also spent 10 years playing football in the UK, both at university & adult level, with 107 combined games in his career (on offense, defense and special teams). Allan is now based in Shanghai and reporting on local & national football development
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