STEVE COLLETT, the ace Angler’s Mail columnist, has surprisingly been made the new manager of the England lure match fishing team.

Steve Collett, who is arguably the No.1 modern all-rounder in UK angling,  is without question the country’s leading lure angler.

He’s been twice winner of the British Lure Angling Championship, European champion and winner of at least 40 big tournaments, many by a wide margin.

In coarse fishing, he’s won the Division 1 National Championships individual title. In fly fishing he’s competed at the very top, and also notched up big sea specimens around the world.

But Steve Collett’s name has always been overlooked for selection in the national lure team.

Now the Angling Trust has dared to go where the Football Association didn’t – by appointing angling’s own Brian Clough.

Steve Collett has been openly outspoken about the perceived problems within the Trust itself. But now he’s gearing up to leading the Trust’s lure team forward, aiming at glory.

Steve, 44, from Nottinghamshire, said: “I decided to throw my hat in the ring and apply for the job, and all credit to the Trust, they have given me the chance despite me having been very critical of them in the past for the way they have run the England lure team.

“I have already heard someone comparing my appointment to someone like Brian Clough being appointed to be England football manager. I don’t know about that but we are both certainly winners.

“Frankly the way things were going we were on target to come last in next year’s world championship but I am hoping to turn it round quickly and at least win a medal.

“My non-selection for the team in the past despite winning everything in sight is history now. I am not a politician, I am a competitor and a winner.

Zander, like Steve Collett is holding, will be a key species in the World Lure Fishing Champs at Rutland in 2018.

“My appointment is open-ended and really I’m seeing the role as developing not just the team but English lure fishing generally over the next four years, and hope to bring home the world crown but we have a lot of catching up to do.

“But next year we are on home territory – it is being held at Rutland Water which I know very well having regularly run my own tournament there so hopefully, like the England football team in 1966 that will give us an advantage. We had never won the football World Cup before then – so who knows, we could pull it off?

“Whether I can be a player-manager and pick myself in the team I’m not sure yet. I will have to discuss that first with my assistant Eric Edwards.

“What I have already decided is that I will be taking a couple of younger anglers along for the experience and won’t be calling them reserves but squad strengtheners.

“I may not be the best manager in the world but I certainly aim to be in the top one,” Steve concluded.

Trust competitions manager Ben Thompson commented: “Steve Collett is a serial winner and has a phenomenal track record in competitions and will bring fresh ideas and instil a winning mentality in the team.

“He has won significant titles in coarse, sea and fly fishing as well as being twice national champion in lure fishing.

“Both Steve and Eric are highly skilled in their field, are hugely respected by their peers and we believe their skill sets will complement each other well,” he added.

Steve Collett’s must-read weekly column, with stunning pictures by Ian Chapman, is exclusive to Angler’s Mail print magazine. He tackles a range of species – always with insight and humour, often with a touch of controversy… and has a big loyal following.

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