Match angling legend Dick Clegg has revealed plans to create an academy that will keep England at the top of the international ladder for decades to come.
Countless team and individual gold medals have been brought home from the world championships in recent years and arrangements are now being put together to nurture stars of the future to help them replicate that success.
The former England team manager believes there is a vast array of talent that has the potential to compete at the highest level but is adamant a new system needs to be installed. “Each year we run trials to help pick our junior and ladies teams and those that don’t get picked often disappear into the wilderness, which isn’t a good thing,” he told Angling Times.
“We need to give those people that weren’t so lucky first time round the chance to improve and be in with a better shot next time. This can only be done by inviting them to regular tuition sessions run by coaches of a very high level three standard.
“I’m determined to get this scheme off the ground so that the pool of talent gets even bigger, giving the management of each team a very difficult decision when it comes to selecting squads for competition,” he added.
Milo star Steve Gardener has worked under the stewardship of Dick on numerous occasions during international events and believes he is the perfect figure to head the forward-thinking approach. He said: “He has been there and seen it all so I can’t think of a better man to get something like this up and running. A lot of anglers only fish commercials these days so a scheme like this could challenge them to learn more specialised skills such as the bolognese or slider that are key to winning on the international stage.”