The series will go behind the scenes at one of the world’s most successful women’s football teams, with the full backing and support of Chelsea Football Club
Fulwell73, the acclaimed production company behind Carpool Karaoke, Sunderland ‘Til I Die and Class of ‘92, has announced its latest documentary series Flying High, which will go behind the scenes at Chelsea FC Women (CFCW).
Filmed over the course of the 2019/20 season, and with unprecedented access to the club, dressing room, its grounds and its people, Flying High will chronicle a team looking to claim more silverware having endured a season of what ifs last time out.
This is a team that demands success and anything less than titles and trophies will be seen as failure.
Over 8 x 60-minute episodes, viewers will follow the players, coaches and staff from around the world who make up CFCW– from Germany, the USA, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and the United Kingdom - from pre-season training through to the highs and lows of the football season. The series covers the journey to and time during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, where a host of players from the club will compete on behalf of their countries.
The women’s game is enjoying a huge leap in attention and support, and this announcement comes at a major turning point for the women’s game. TV viewing figures and match attendances at women’s fixtures continue to break records year on year and in 2018, more than 45,500 fans flocked to Wembley Stadium to watch Chelsea defeat Arsenal Women in the Women’s FA Cup Final. In 2013, just 3,000 people went to the same match.
The series will spotlight the powerful human stories of a group of women defining the sport as it is known today, following players from around the world and their experiences pre-season in their home countries. It will take an empowering look at the journey team-members have been on to achieve their dream of becoming professional footballers and the challenges they have all had to overcome on the way.
Those featured in the series will include iconic manager Emma Hayes, who has overseen the club’s rise to the top since 2012 and recently returned from maternity leave, prolific England striker Fran Kirby, vice-captain and England defensive rock Millie Bright, Ji So-Yun, now in her sixth season with the club and an idol in her native South Korea, and captain Karen Carney MBE, one of the most experienced players in the game, with 133 England caps to her name.
The series is being produced and directed by Alex Sunderland (who has produced multiple complex, access-led documentaries including The Secret Life of 4 and 5 Year Olds and 24 Hours in A&E for Channel 4) and executive produced by Fulwell’s Gabe Turner and Leo Pearlman.
Flying High is the latest production on an extensive list of sports documentaries created by Fulwell73 and follows global hits including I Am Bolt, Sunderland ‘Til I Die, In The Hands Of The Gods and Class of ’92, which remains the most successful British sports documentary in history.
Leo Pearlman, partner at Fulwell73, said: “Women’s football is, rightly, gathering huge interest and support around the world and Chelsea FC Women is at the forefront of that surge in popularity and we hope this series captures that zeitgeist. We are proud to be collaborating with Chelsea FC on this exciting series, which will give viewers never-before-seen access at one of the highest calibre women’s football clubs. While Flying High will be a fly-on-the wall observational documentary, audiences can expect a beautiful and cinematic series, doing justice to the powerful, human stories at the heart of the club.”
Guy Laurence, CEO of Chelsea Football Club, said: “We are delighted Fulwell 73 approached us to make this documentary about Chelsea FC Women. We are extremely proud of the team and everything it has achieved in recent years and look forward to showcasing the incredible talent and commitment of our players and staff to a worldwide audience. This announcement comes at a hugely important time for female football with a hotly anticipated World Cup on the horizon, ahead of another exciting FA Women’s Super League season, which will no doubt be even more competitive than ever. Flying High will bring our legions of supporters, as well as many millions of women’s football fans, behind the scenes to see just what makes Chelsea FC Women the team it is.”
Emma Hayes, Manager of Chelsea Football Club Women, said: “This is an exciting time for women’s football in this country and this documentary will further highlight the strides being made in the game and showcase the professional standards demanded for elite-level women’s football. I know how hard my players and staff work, the sacrifices they make, and the desire they have to achieve their dreams, and by allowing cameras to capture our every move, others will get to appreciate it too.”