Talent Pathway 2015
The Talent Pathway is run in conjunction with the Angling Trust and its objective is to look for and encourage young anglers to have the opportunity to fish for England either home or in foreign lands.
The teams consist of juniors aged 13-17 youths 17-21 and adults 21+ however their are anglers as young as 9 taking part but the optimum age is perhaps around 12 so they can have some work done with them prior to being available for team selection.
These lads also need 110% support from their parents as due to lack of funding all the matches they fish home and away their parents will have to dig deep! They all used the long style rods and fixed spool reels so they can fish light rigs and small hooks.
George of Tronixpro and Tom of Christchurch Angling are 2 of the sponsors who supply equipment to give the team the best chance of winning a medal
I was lucky enough to be asked to attend the first session at a wind swept Lepe beach in Hampshire by the junior management team of David Graham (England Junior manager), George Cunningham of Tronixpro together with Chris Clark to look at the casting skills of these young anglers
The management team are not to concerned about who catches the most fish but want to see the work rate the lads put in. Not like us old fisherman who cast out and sit on our boxes and dont move for 20 minutes. In a match situation the young anglers should be always on the move looking to double pat changing the distance they are fishing at, rig changing and bait changing. It needs to be 4 hours of hard work. Also what is important is the team ethic the lads all work together as a team there are no superstars they work for one another exchanging idears and tactics
Also as they walk up and down the beach David and George are looking for what the lads are doing what rigs and bait presentation they are using changing baits unhooking fish.
In this instance they were not too impressed with some of the rigs that were being used so a change of plan was needed and the second meeting involved a couple of hours building rigs under the careful eye of Chris Clark
After the match is over a short debrief is held with the anglers and parents and for them that is where the session ends. For the management team though its another 2 hours of debrief and every anglers performance and work rate and casting skills are discussed and marked.
So a lot of work takes place behind the scenes and as they say” if you fail to plan then you plan to fail” and this is one of the reasons why perhaps the junior team have produced medals at most matches they have fished and have produced many gold and individual winners
I know myself that watching these lads has been fascinating and even this old dog has learned some new tricks!!!!
So any budding anglers out there who would like to give it a shot please Contact the Angling Trust for more details