Winning the Matchman of the Year for the fourth time was my main aim this season and, after such a good start to the season, it was nice to be leading rather than chasing like previous year. To be honest, I’ve not felt any pressure like I have in past years as I had such a big lead by November.
I think that it’s a competition that rewards consistency and that’s one thing I always try to do; to be as consistent as I can.
Anglers can have one good match or a good run of form but to win consistently month after month is always much more rewarding.
I wouldn’t say there’s been any key moments or months as I’ve had a really steady season, but there was two months where I managed to score 55 points that really helped me pull away from the chasing pack.
I do think that where I live in the north west, helps me massively to win this competition as there’s parts of the country that don’t get the turnouts required, therefore they can’t really ever win in reality.
The venues I fish have a very good standard of angler and it’s not easy to consistently win 50-90 peg matches regularly, so I am proud of that.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my sponsors Guru and Bait-Tech for supporting me because they allow me to use the best gear and bait available and their support makes my fishing and preparation so much easier. My targets for this season are to just keep learning and improving all the time.
Now watch Andy Bennett talk about his win and his plans…
What is the Matchman of the Year competition?
The Matchman of the Year competition is exclusively covered in Angler’s Mail magazine.
It is based on a sliding scale scoring system that means five points for a win, down to one point for fifth place at 50-plus entry matches, down to three for a win and one points for third at 30-plus matches.
There is no entry fee or registration method – all Open and league matches with results reported to Angler’s Mail and published in the magazine count, during the main June 16- March 14 season.
It really is that simple, which helps account for the competition’s popularity and fairness – it genuinely is open to all!
Previous winners of the Angler’s Mail Matchman of the Year include, famously, Dave Vincent who won a hat-trick of titles on South East venues, and Andy May, who won back-to-back in the North West.
Some of the sport’s most famous competitors have scored heavily in the four decades of the Matchman of the Year being run by Angler’s Mail magazine.
Noted champions of yesteryear include Dave Thomas, John Dean, Billy Makin, John Allerton, Dave Harrell and Kim Milsom.
The scoring system was tweaked when Preston Innovations took over the title sponsorship two seasons ago, to allow even more matches around the country to become qualifiers.
Plus monthly prize-winners were brought into the mix, Tom Pickering being the respected judge, making stars of in-form matchmen from anywhere in the country.
And in the 2014/15 season, for the first time ever, new mini-leagues were added to reveal top scoring anglers in Lakes, Canals and Rivers categories. Full story on the winners of the mini-leagues is in the current AM issue.
The British Open, by invitation for Top 50 Matchman of the Year points-scorers, has also come back this year by popular demand, making the competition better overall than it has ever been.