A total of 26 youngsters from the Angling Trusts’ England Talent Pathway programme travelled from all over the country to Packington Somers Fishery near Coventry on 22nd March 2014.

The match was the culmination of an 8 month programme which has seen youngsters from Angling Trust’s Northern, Midlands and  Southern Development squads work with some of the country’s top match anglers in Des Shipp, Joe Roberts, Matt Godfrey, Nick  Speed and Frankie Gianoncelli to learn and understand what is required to compete at elite level with Team England.

The match was run to FIPSed rules with bloodworm joker the main focus and with Sensas Team England U18 coach Joe Roberts watching on, anglers had the opportunity to showcase their skills and earn the right to grab a place at the U18 trials to be held at Makins Fishery. 6 teams of 4 anglers fished Molands and catches were steady if not spectacular throughout the match with good quality roach and skimmers featuring regularly and some big F1’s  appearing towards the end. It was Team South 1 who triumphed collectively and individually with a score of 9 points and James Allen took the individual honours with a weight of 23lb 14oz, his performance being enough to earn an invite to Makins on the 6th April. James will be joined at the Sensas U18 trial by Jake McNeil (North), Jake Sanderson (North), Josh Smith Trow (North), Brad Hancock (North), Jordan Hollaway (Midlands), Finlay Bulbeck (Midlands) and Matt Grindle (South).

Ben Thompson, Talent Development Manager at the Angling Trust  said “I’m delighted with how the match went and every one of the anglers did well today. It was a great opportunity to showcase their skills and impress Joe Roberts. There are some very talented young anglers out there and it’s fantastic to see some of our top match anglers supporting these youngsters’ development and helping them achieve their ambitions of representing their country. We are very grateful to those guys and our Talent Coaches who give up considerable amounts of their own time to make this programme possible. I wish every angler attending the U18 trial the very best of luck and to those anglers not selected I’d encourage them to keep working hard, keep learning and I’m sure  their opportunity will come in the future.”

The 2014/15 England Talent Pathway programme will begin in June with selection events staged nationwide. If you’re aged 14-17 and want to get involved then visit the website www.anglingtrust.net/talentpathway or check out the Facebook page www.facebook.com/AnglingTrustTalentPathway for more information.