The Junior and Intermediate World Championship takes place tomorrow, on the River Vilaines in France. England has a team entered into both events, thanks to generous backing from sponsors Drennan and Sensas.
Dorking skipper Steve Sanders is manager of the junior team and is optimistic of the squads' chances, explaining: “The venue is absolutely fantastic, and we have enjoyed a great week's practice, with the anglers getting better every day.
"The slider has been the dominant method, fishing in between three and a half and five metres of water, with bream and skimmers the target species. From what I have seen, we are among the strongest teams on the bank – although France, Holland and Belgium are also very good. I genuinely believe we could win this weekend, and certainly have a very good chance of a medal.”
The team competing is Matt Barnett, Joe Kent, Bradley Gibbons and Sam Hughes, with Tom Moretti left out for the first day.
The Intermediate Team has also been performing well in practice. Triple youth gold medallist, and Pole Fishing’s editorial assistant, Matt Godfrey, is among the team who will be competing tomorrow.
He commented: “We are very confident, and have performed well in practice. Having the assistance of Alan Scotthorne has been invaluable – he has helped us all improve our slider-fishing techniques massively. The only potential problem that we could face is the wind – which is forecast to be bad tomorrow. Still, we are all confident, and will do our best to come back with a medal."
The team will be made up of Matt Godfrey, James Dent, Matt Derry and Rory Jones. Alex Clements and Oliver Scotthorne are running the bank on the first day.
The ABC Baits Welsh Youth Team is also competing, with Andy Rowbottom, Geraint Powell, Daniel Driscoll, Liam Parry, Matt Dawes and Cellan Wilkins making up the squad on the bank.