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A VERY disappointing weekend was had by my team, Dynamite Matrix Trentmen, in the Angling Trust winter league semi-finals. But my disappointment was short lived, as my faith in match fishing was restored by seeing Wayne Mellings’ young side take the honours.

Usually I would have been p***ed off with any other team knocking us out, and hated them with a passion, we are all bad losers if we are honest with ourselves.

But seeing this young team do the business really cheered me up, and not just the day of the race, during the run up, the amount of young uns, and very good all round young uns, reassured me that our sport was in safe hands.
Whether or not “their faces will fit” with certain folks is another discussion, but it really is good to see.

Young guns in Maver Midllands and other sides give me hope for the future of match fishing.

I’m not sure where this set of awesome anglers has come from, we all know the quality that multi World Champion Matt Godfrey has, but this is backed up by the likes of James Dent, who in my opinion is one of the country’s, if not world’s finest young anglers, Andy Geldart, Frankie Gianoncelli, to name a few. And these are just Barnsley’s lot.

Then Wayne’s young Maver Midlands side has Jordan Hall, Scott Doodson, Craig Goldstraw, Dave White and James Howarth, none of them above 23. They seem to have very old heads on their shoulders when it comes to commercial match fishing.

It all looks good for the future of match fishing in the UK… or does it?

In my experience a few of these young fellas will fall by the wayside, maybe the lure of a bit of fluff (the female kind) or football, or both will see them disappear, or the lack of direction will see them go, and never re appear.

Whatever drags them away from the game, we need to try our hardest and keep them at it. Maybe the temptation of an England cap will see them stay, but unless they are in the “clique” that can seem an impossible mission.

Whatever it is, Wayne Mellings’ is putting in this team’s maggots, it’s definitely working, as alongside the embryonic squad he has got, he has a fair mix of top old uns, such as Peter Plant Snr, a midlands legend, Dave Brown, in my opinion one of the best all rounders there is, and Dave Lloyd, a phenomenal canal angler.

This seems like THE perfect squad, and don’t forget Les Thompson and Jon Arthur along with a few others, these boys will be a force to be reckoned with.

The other Midlands semi took place on the Loughborough Canal, and whilst the venue has looked very hit and miss of late, the local side, captained by my old mukker Joff Woodget, managed to sneak in despite a few dry nets and claim their place in this year’s final.

They progressed along with Drennan North West, and the winners Garbolino Ossett, who again all have superb youngsters in their squads, the future’s bright for match fishing.

As all of these team matches more or less draw to a close for some, I’ll be heading off to Spain this week for a bit of fishing with the Angler’s Mail contributor, Ben Scary Mary (Hervey-Murray), who is embarking on a great adventure on the River Ebro, and I’m delighted to be tagging along with him for a few weeks in his new venture.

There can be only one award for me, and it has to go to the team that is Maver Midlands, or Team Toad as they have now been affectionately called due to their bright green attire!

These guys put in some serious practise time down at Makins and it paid off.

So Maver Midlands and Mr Wayne Mellings take a bow, a deserved Angler’s Mail performance of the week.





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