Carp Team England - a new era

The Korda Carp Team England has a new management team to lead it into the 2012 World Championships and beyond. Experienced carp match anglers Ian Huntington and Pete Holehouse are the new men at the helm, with Ian taking the position of team manager and Pete becoming team coach.

Dick Clegg, International Events Director for the Angling Trust, told us why the duo had been chosen, "Ian and Pete are acknowledged as England's number-one pairing in carp team competitions and I have no doubt that their vast experience will benefit Korda Carp Team England. The previous manager, Mitch Smith, took England to number two in the World, second only to South Africa during his tenure. I know that if anyone can elevate us to the top, then Ian and Pete are the ones most likely to achieve it."

Speaking about his appointment, Ian Huntington said, “We are both delighted and honoured to accept our positions as the new management of the England carp team and look forward to tackling the many challenges and expectations that lie ahead.”

Rather than simply forming a purely tactical pairing, the duo hope to change the perception of the team as Ian explained, “We are looking forward to establishing new relationships throughout the carp fishing world in our new roles, in the hope that the national carp team can finally gain the support of everybody involved in our great sport, both from within the industry and on the bank. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dick Clegg and the Angling Trust for giving us this opportunity and we look forward to increasing awareness within carp fishing circles of the vital role the trust plays and the great work they do.”

Ian went on to outline new plans to safeguard the future success of the team by looking to youth, “Although initially, we’ll be picking from a relatively established pool of pairs, I want to see talented youngsters progressing through the ranks and into the team. To this end, I’ve been thinking hard about establishing a junior England team, mirroring the structure that the more established England match teams have. The nation’s senior team relies on this fantastic progression of junior anglers and I intend to propose to Dick Clegg that we lobby FIPSed at the next board meeting in Rome in November to try and establish a junior World Carp Angling Championships.
Obviously this will ultimately depend on the will of the member nations to support the proposal and provide their own junior teams.

The depth of talent that we have in the junior ranks in this country is astonishing; I’d go as far as to say that, relative to the senior team, our youngsters are even stronger in comparison to their foreign counterparts. You only have to spend time with the kids that attend events like the BYCAC and Korda Carp Academy to see that.”

Team selection has always been a source for much discussion, and Ian is keen to clarify just how the team will be picked to head off speculation, “Initially, we’ll be selecting from a pool of 16 pairs who have proven to be top performers over many years. I’m aware that there are literally hundreds of good anglers out there, but to gamble on lads who don’t regularly perform in matches is not something that I’m willing to do. It’d be akin to taking a bloke to the other side of the world with a suitcase and a rod tube and saying; “Go on then, win us the World Champs!” I have already sent out invites to the pairs and I have to say that we’ve had a good response so far. The reaction from the pairs has been extremely positive so far, and I’m delighted to say that their passion for the cause seems to mirror ours.”

Ian went on to explain the trial system that he and Pete will use to whittle the 16 pairs down to just four (the three competing teams and a reserve) for September’s World Championships in Romania.

“The first trial is the endurance trial. Endurance will play a significant part if the team is to find success and end up on that podium. After that, we will have a further, more technical trial, fishing for larger fish. The third trial will be about team spirit and working together as a unit, combined of course with the final match. The team will be chosen from the anglers that fit all the criteria and make the best out of the pegs they fish and not solely judged on one off results. We will also take into consideration any specialist skills required to tackle Lacul Corbu, the World Championship venue in Romania.”

Ian and Pete will be working closely with Team England’s new sponsors, Korda Developments, who are providing key support to the team. Speaking after the new management duo was appointed, Ali Hamidi, Korda’s head of media and marketing, said “We’ve been aware of Ian and Pete for a number of years and their performances on the UK carp match-fishing scene speak for themselves. They transferred this level of performance to the international scene and have the respect of anglers, young and old.
Not only are they tactically astute, they also know the mentality that is required to perform and win in pressure-cooker situations. Both guys have been in senior management most of their working lives, making them the perfect people to lead England to success in 2012.
I hope that this further displays that Korda’s sponsorship of Team England is all about providing a solid base to produce a winning team. It’s important to note that Ian will be selecting anglers irrespective of their sponsorships or commercial tie-ups. In the medium term, the British Carp Angling Championships and British Young Carpers Angling Championship events will be watched closely by Pete and Ian as they search for the best team to represent England now and in the future.”