Kayleigh is on board for Ladies’ world campaign

Ladies England Squad, with Leeds' Kayleigh Smith, third from left.
Ladies England Squad, with Leeds' Kayleigh Smith, third from left.
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Last week I mentioned the importance of starting young and the rise through the ranks of Whitkirk’s Andy Geldart to becoming one of the men to beat on the elite festival circuit – but it’s not all about the men.

Kayleigh Smith, 25, another starlet rising from the Leeds junior set up received news this week of her inclusion to the Angling Trust England Ladies Team – I know her place is well deserved.

England Ladies Manager Dave Brooks has announced an unchanged side to go to Spain for this year’s World Championships in Merida from August 27-28.

The venue is the Guadiana River which was used in 2012 for the Euro Championships when England’s men finished in the silver medal position.

Dave is convinced that the squad can improve on last year’s disappointment when finishing sixth in Belgium and expects to make the podium this time.

Even though they are relatively young, the team has a massive amount of international experience and they all worked fantastically well together during the practice week. The tactics here should suit our girls with slider, pole and whip fishing all playing a part and every one of the squad can compete using these styles.

Both Dave Brooks and Joe Roberts have many years of coaching and managing at international level and this coupled with a squad of mega-talented ladies will surely secure a medal for our Ladies Team England.

Ladies England Squad: Wendy Locker, Helen Dagnall, Samantha Sim, Abbi Kendall, Julie Abbott and Kayleigh Smith. Dave Brooks (manager), Joe Roberts (coach), Dick Clegg (delegate), Jason Kirk and Rob Wright (helpers).

There has also been an invite extended to Jeannette Halliday and Emma Pickering to attend the championship depending on money being available from all the fundraising activities. If these two girls attend it will be a tremendous squad-strengthening exercise and should be of benefit to the team.

Bradford No 1 held its first 24hr carp match on its usually prolific Knotford fishery last week, freezing temperatures put a stop to any massive weights with Jamie Tingle taking top spot with two carp for 24-11.

The talking point of the event was an eel that forgot it wasn’t supposed to feed in icy conditions, the fish a clunker five- pounder was banked by Jamie Place.

For those fancying a day on the tip, this week’s warmer weather has seen some brilliant bream and skimmer catches from the Aire and Calder Canal.

Mirfield’s waters around Great Heck have become well-known for these catches, though reports of other weights to over 40lb from below the house at Pollington are showing that the bream shoals are on most lengths if you’re prepared to go and find them.

Fewston catch averages rose again to 5.3 despite horrendous weather, buzzers and nymphs are proving best with the largest fish a 4-02 rainbow falling to the rod of Mr Ian Buck, who used a Gold-ribbed hare’s ear.

Not wanting to miss out, it would have been rude of me not to accept at short notice the offer of a few days away on Spain’s River Ebro, so it is gear packed ready for the long drive through France and the Pyrenees.

Next week will be left in the capable hands of Browning and Zebco angling consultant Paul Mc Brinn.