FORMER world champion and England international Tommy Pickering has left Daiwa’s consultancy team to join Preston Innovations.

Tommy will now become a Preston-sponsored angler and will also play a major role in product development as well as representing the Telford-based company at various events throughout the year.

He explained: “I thought I knew about Preston Innovations and its product range and then I started to get personally involved with the firm when we relaunched the UK individual championships together – quite honestly, I was really impressed with what I learned.

“Its existing product range surprised me… along with its ideas for future development. It is without a doubt the most forward-thinking firm in the industry – the ONLY company I would have considered leaving Daiwa for. I am really excited about the deal and can’t wait to make a start.”

Ricky Teale, Preston Innovations’ general manager, added: “We knew that Tommy was well-known, liked and respected throughout the sport and, having worked together on the UK champs, we realised what a thorough, professional guy he is.

“The idea began to form, especially as we liked the idea of adding a well-recognised face to our team. His experience and technical knowledge will, I’m sure, be of great benefit to us. He will represent us at the some of the major sponsored events that we are involved with. We look forward to working closely together.”