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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Touchdown Europe Hall of Fame, or, TDEU Approved, features some of the best coaches and players (domestic and import) across Europe. A place where coaches and players are highlighted for their work on and off the field.

For more information on how to get nominated, visit our HOF Nomination Form page.



Friday, October 14, 2016

Allan at work, recording Peyton Manning
How much do we actually appreciate the work of everyone who is behind the scenes - from guys preparing the field for a game, to everyone who is making sure games are recorded/streamed? What does it actually take to be good at any given job behind the scenes of a football organization/league?

We talked to one of our favorite guys behind the camera - Allan Price. Allan is the co-founder of GridironTV (you may remember the segment on TDEU as well). Now, he is in China, making sure CAFL (China Arena Football League) visual is up and running.

First steps

My first steps into this path were working in sales for a camera company. I was fortunate enough to get a free camera as a Christmas gift one year – up until then I hadn’t really explored photography or video, so I started to practice with the camera and study more about the techniques of shooting pictures. By the time I decided to retire from playing football, I was confident enough to use cameras and had done quite a lot of photography and a small amount of video projects. From then I went on the co-run Gridiron TV, and now with my work in China (and have purchased a large amount of camera equipment along the way) – all rooted in one afternoon of standing on a wet, rocky beach in January in Scotland turning on my new camera and giving it a try.

Being great at what you do

Photography and video is a great balance between art & technology – to be successful you must be able to understand camera technologies (as well as lighting and editing), but you must also have an artistic and creative side to know where to point the camera to make something that looks amazing.

In addition, it can be a very changeable, demanding and flexible job with long days and travel, so you need to be flexible and open-minded to having so many different locations & demands. You should be someone that can quickly fit into a new team and start working, and also someone who can work well with all types (whether that’s directors, producers, interviewees, assistants or whoever).

Fundamentally, it is the kind of job that is driven by a passion – if you love telling stories, working hard and enjoy having crazy work stories to share then it makes it a lot easier to become successful. Everyone and his (go-pro wearing) dog owns at least one camera, but not everyone can do this job so make sure you focus on producing high quality and professional work.

Your work is your reputation, so it should always be good enough for the next client to want to find you. Make yourself irreplaceable through good work attitude and great quality content. Always continue to learn from others that you meet on jobs, or through your studying or through practicing to make sure you are getting better every day to stay ahead. And do what you enjoy, that is how your passion will flow into your work.

The weather

The worst weather I worked in was during an evening football game – the semi-finals of the UK University league, with the Stirling Clansmen hosting the Birmingham Lions in unexpected rolling snow storms. It was a day that we had decided to test live streaming the game over internet radio (one of our first live events for Gridiron TV). My memories of the day were trying to keep my laptop covered with my jacket (sacrificing all my body heat in the process), and following our commentator up and down the side lines as he held the microphone. I have filmed in torrential rain, as well as shooting photography for 3 hours at an event in Shanghai, China, where the surface temperature peaked at 55 degrees Celsius.

The keys are preparation and awareness – ensuring you bring the right equipment will help you get through most situations, whether it means waterproof clothing/bags, towels, extra spare parts or even extra water & snacks will help you avoid getting caught out when you need to be ready to get the shot.

Also, a small amount of toughness goes a long way – being able to stick it out in searing heat or being soaked through without losing your focus means that you will be ready to capture the moment that everyone else gave up on.

DO's and DONT's

My experience of playing football is one of my strengths when filming it. I understand the flow of the game and I can anticipate where the action will be (and put myself there with the camera). When it comes to sports, it is very important to have that kind of understanding for several reasons – it enables you to get the best looking shots, it keeps you safe (not getting knocked over by a player or a ball), and can actually help to gain better access – if referees and coaches know that I can keep out of the way and keep myself safe they are more likely to tolerate me getting up close to the game. Always respect the game on the field as the most important aspect.

For documentaries it’s similar, as well as having a lot of respect for the subjects you are shooting. I always remind myself that I am a guest when I come in with a camera, and I am not always in a position to request/demand how things are set up. Don’t try to come in and be pushy if you don’t have a good relationship established – sometimes it’s better to roll with the flow of what’s happening than to demand access to someone/somewhere and be asked to leave (indeed, sometimes the best shots happen when things go off script).

Whatever kind of work you’re doing - be prepared. Think about the shots you need to capture & how/when you are going to get them (and if it’s even possible). I often visualise the flow of a shoot from start to finish identifying and problem areas beforehand. Also, make sure you have the right equipment and it is all working – if you run out of battery or need to repair something, your subject probably isn’t going to stop and wait for you. A bit of awareness of your situation will help with that.

Favorite Moments

I love having a job that is different every day, and this kind of job always has fun or crazy moments. Live game broadcasting is great because of the buzz you get from performing live, but filming Peyton Manning chase me down the Great Wall of China on a toboggan, and then seeing my work appear on the front pages of international news agencies, filling the first two pages of Google searches (and having 500,000 views of the video in the first day on the NFL Twitter page) is pretty crazy. Some days it takes a while for me to explain to people what I do!

Allan's shot of Peyton Manning went viral

China vs Scotland

I moved to China in 2015 with my wife, and from the moment I realized it was happening I started to do some research to see if I could take my passion with me. A former team mate in Edinburgh advised me of the amateur league there (AFLC), and through my own research I also learned about the upcoming professional arena football league (CAFL). Through a combination of emailing and networking, I have been able to fit myself into the growing football community here, working for those two leagues as well as NFL China (and other non-football clients).

So far, it has been very much an experience of networking to become involved – first I learned of an AFLC game, showed up and started taking photos, identified the Head Coach and offered him my pictures, was invited to write and photograph for a company that brings US college football athletes to China, was then introduced to NFL China through a meeting, offered to photograph an NFL family event, was then invited to film several more event, including 2 of their Legends Tour series (with Troy Polamalu and Peyton Manning), and I am currently working full time for the CAFL on their 2016 season.

I am writing this from a 5-star hotel on the beach in the north east of China, reminding myself of what I did to get here, so I can keep pushing onwards to whatever else I can do here. There is so much growth happening here in the sport, but it can be demanding work that requires a lot of effort, so I am using all my niche experience to fit in as much as possible.

Mia Bajin

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Photo: GrooYa
Football is more than a sport.
People tell me that all the time, but it's more than that, and for me and others as well too, football is such a huge part of my life that it became my ''get away key" from many things. Whenever I'm not playing it, I am constantly thinking of ways to upgrade or become a better player.


A lot of people don't know that I didn't do my college pro day or wasn't focusing on the NFL, but I did have the opportunity to go to CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos when coach Chris Jones was with the team (didn't go because I went to Poland). I decided to take a different route and come overseas to see the truth about everything, and even though it is not the NFL with the millions of dollars, I am still living my dream and helping others understand the game and playing to their full potential.

Photo: GrooYa


My journey overseas has been amazing, I was in Sopot, Poland from March-August in 2015, playing for the Sopot Seahawks (national finalists with a 9-1 record). After that season, from August-December, I went to Manila, Philippines to play for Manila Wolves (7-0 record and I won Super Bowl MVP while helping the Wolves defend the title). After that I came to Kragujevac, Serbia in February-July 2016, to play for Kragujevac Wild Noars (Serbian Bowl champs with a 8-1 record). Now, I am in Leme, Brazil - from September-December, playing for Empreyo Leme Lizards.

My records speak for itself, I'm not an import that worries about my resume, I am an import that want to spread the love and of course win championships.


I love the overseas lifestyle more than I love the American lifestyle to be honest, but don't get me wrong, I love my country (USA). The only thing different about USA vs other countries are more opportunities and I think people overseas are way nicer and more lovable (that's my opinion). I am just not ready for a real job (besides helping the youth, training people, etc). I got these opportunities and I'm making the best of it. The love overseas is unreal especially for the youth. Everywhere I went (especially in Serbia) I had an amazing fan base football wise. I had kids approach me asking for autographs and pictures. Traveling the world and getting to experience things people always want to see is a blessing.


I grew up around football and it is in my blood line, so I try to teach the basics. I had to learn how to run in college (I know it sounds crazy, but I was just fast in high school and was just told to run and had an okay technique, but once I got to college it changed and it brought my 40 yard dash down to a 4.38).

I always remember my college coach saying technique and muscle membring, so it always stick with me until this day. As an import, I teach my WRs, RBs, and other skills players the basics on ways to catch the ball (turning your hands correctly), stem routes (setting DBs up), reading the defense (film studying so you can play fast), etc. Then, we always progress from there.

In Serbia, I probably had the best WR core I have been around since my college days. The guys would want to learn, the extra work, and ask for film study meets, and I think that is what makes a big difference, and that's why we were the best WR core in Serbia.

It is like in America, some don't want to put in the extra work because they are happy with where they are at. Never be satisfied with where you are at, always push yourself to be the best.


Being a good/great person on and off the field will help you a lot, as well as for the team having the possibility of bring you back next year. Teams build a relationship and it is easy to have a relationship with someone that you already know, than to start with someone new.

Some teams overseas would base their plays around their imports or think that imports are supposed to win championships (which is true). For me, I think imports should make the team better and help others reach their full potential, as well as putting the team in the best position to win games/championships.

People have to understand that an American can come to a team and be an individual, but that's selfish to me (but some imports don't think like that). I always try to inform people that they have to understand that football is a team concept, you are as good as the players around you. I try to hit that everywhere I went. I shared the knowledge and the love that I was blessed with, because I don't believe in individuals. I believe in team work.


The first thing I did once I got the chance to come overseas was make sure I gave back to the youth (I still do it up until this day). I made sure I interact with the youth on and off the field, because they are our future and having them look up to you and want to get to know more than just a football player is a great feeling to me.

An opportunity to come overseas to play a sport that you love is very rare, so when the opportunity come - please don't ask how much money etc. Most teams will give you more than arena teams make a game, or at least a good/great salary where it will be livable in their country. You have to understand on how many people wish they could be in your position to get paid for what they love to do and be a professional athlete, or, have the opportunity to still continue to play a sport they love, get paid, and travel the world.

Have a strong work ethic and be open minded to different situations. You have to be uncomfortable at some point in your life. You will adjust and learn how to do things different. Also don't be cocky about everything, it is a good thing to be confident, but nobody wants to be around or wants a cocky person around (it looks bad). Just remain humble, and most importantly, relax, have fun, make plays and be a playmaker, and, enjoy the moment!!!


First, I want to say thanks to the man upstairs for blessing me with the talent and ability for me to play the game. Secondly, I like to thank my mom for always supporting my decisions, even after I turn down my pro day for the NFL, my true friends/fans, and last but not least - Luke Zetazate/Gawin Campbell, Sopot Seahawks organization/team/Crossfit Trojmiasto (cf3m), Tom Torres/Ivan Klaric/Steven Smith/Dennis Graves, Manila Wolves organization/team, Nemanja Caki, Shane Wong, Wild Boars organization/team/trening centar Kragujevac, Josh Hepner, and Ilumi Materiais Eletricos, Bruno Pultz/Pultz family, Luis Melare, Jeron Jones, and the Empyreo Leme Lizards organization/team/Empyreo club, and Clincica 29 staff.

Gabriel Chambers


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