By Rob Disario
If you think Northern Arena Football (NAF) is just another arena league, you would be wrong. In an exclusive Arena Football Talk interview with the New England Cavalry owner, Kevin James, I got a first-hand look into the newest football league. The Cavalry is the first team to sign on.
First, a little background: in their inaugural season as an arena football club, the New England Cavalry joined the American Arena League (AAL) as an affiliate, which is a team does not have a home field, and travels to face other clubs. During the 2018 season, James learned how to run a successful football team. Most importantly, he was able to make connections with other players, owners, and coaches - most notably Richmond Roughriders owner, Gregg Fornario. James said he become friendly with Fornario and jumped at the chance to become part of his new league.
“The NAF,” James explained, “will be run the way you’d want; the way you’d require an arena football league to be run to label it as professional.” As a player, a coach, and now an owner, James says he’s experienced both the good and the bad in certain leagues. “This is not gonna be semi-pro football...believe the hype, the hype is real!”
Kevin James explained the New England Cavalry will play their home games at the new Granite Woods Festival Park facility in Hooksett, New Hampshire. He and six other local businesses are part of the development group for the indoor/outdoor recreational park. He said it will be truly great for the local community.
As for other teams to join the NAF, James hopes all teams from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to Maine “who are professionally run, with good vision will join: meaning a vision for long-term success.” James offered another local club as an example, the Elite Indoor Football (EIF) Champions, New England Bobcats. “As long as they're willing to make long-term success their vision, we’d love if they joined the NAF,” James said.
As for James and his Cavalry, he’s currently recruiting players, coaches, and support staff to join him in his quest for success. With two tryouts scheduled for later this year (September 2 and December 1), James said he was not interested in the semi-pro culture. “I want professional players who are ready to hustle, work hard, and put themselves out there for the team,” James said.
All the NAF action will be broadcast on YouTube Live, and feature video playback, game stats, and consistent highlights.
As an arena football fan I’m excited to have the NAF delivering high-quality football to my region of the country. We at AFT Network wish Kevin James and the New England Cavalry the best of luck in the 2019 season.