AFL training camps kick off Feb. 6


The drive to ArenaBowl XXII New Orleans begins just prior to the Super Bowl as the defending ArenaBowl XXI Champions the San Jose SaberCats and two-time (2006, 2007) Eastern Division champion Dallas Desperados become the first teams to open training camp, on Saturday, Feb. 2.

San Jose, coming off its third ArenaBowl championship in six seasons, is looking to become the first team since the 1995-96 Tampa Bay Storm to win consecutive ArenaBowl titles.

"It's difficult to win football games at any level, but we are ready for the challenge (of trying to repeat)," said San Jose head coach Darren Arbet. "There hasn't been a repeat champion in this league in a number of years and we are anxious to get the season going. We've been in this position before but this might be the time we get it done."

The Desperados, coming off a league-best 15-1 regular-season record in 2007, look to start strong after having won 28 of their last 32 regular-season games.

"We are excited to get the season going because we have something to prove," said Dallas head coach Will McClay. "We have a large portion of the team that went 15-1 back and we feel we have upgraded our roster with offseason moves. This season will give us another shot at our goal of being ArenaBowl champions. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm."

The AFL season begins on Feb. 29 when the Los Angeles Avengers host the New Orleans VooDoo.