When MUTV asked me to go to Italy to cover the Claudio Sassi Memorial Cup I jumped at the chance. Not that I had any choice - it’s my job and really I was told to go but you understand the sentiment.
Most of my work for MUTV is devoted to our live coverage of United’s academy and reserve teams, but however enjoyable that can be, the Barclays Premier Reserve League North doesn't quite cut it in the glamour stakes against a prestigious competition in Italy. My last trip of this type was in 2006 when I helped to cover the Milk Cup but again, as much as I loved our stay in Northern Ireland, I was more excited by northern Italy this time around.
As a producer, I had to sort out many of the logistics for our Italian adventure - hotels, flights, hire cars, budgets, currency, filming permission (quite difficult when your Italian doesn’t stretch much beyond ‘Ciao’ and ‘Grazie’!)
Three months of meticulous planning seemed to pay off because while United were winning the cup on the field, our work off it went very smoothly. Happily I have no international incidents to report, although somehow bypassing payment on Italy's equivalent of the M6 toll road may come back to bite us on the behind (what can I say, we’d been in the country five minutes and were still getting to grips with driving on the wrong side of the road...)
The weather was glorious but don't believe what our jealous colleagues back in Manchester might have said about it being a jolly - like Paul McGuinness and his players, we worked hard. (Although maybe the team's hard work didn't extend to test-driving a Ferrari, as it did for a cameraman and yours truly).
All in all it was a very successful trip, as you can see by