Matthew has been a real asset to us over the summer, with his excellent work ethic, his adaptability and his ability and willingness to learn.
When we first met Matthew at interview, he told us he liked to fish, we didn’t realise how modest he was being. Here is his story:
I've been an avid fisherman from a very young age, competing in local junior competitions throughout the Forest of Dean and surrounding area. During this time, I also began to fish junior festivals further afield. This meant that I was able to develop my skills and approach as I was fishing against a much higher class of junior angler. It also meant that I achieved better results and started winning more individual trophies and prizes.
The highlight of the junior fishing season is the Junior Nationals, in which I compete as part of a six-man team against other teams from across the UK. This is something that I have participated in since the age of 12, being lucky enough to have won two team silver medals and two team bronze medals.
I have also competed in the junior fishing festivals at the White Acres Fishing Complex in Cornwall for the last 6 years, finishing in the overall top 5 every year.
In addition to this, I have been invited to take part in the England Youth Team Trials for the last three years, fishing to strict international rules. However, unfortunately I have not been lucky enough to be selected for the five-man international team. Despite this, along the way, I have received coaching from some of the world's top coarse match anglers, learning a great deal.
More recently, I have been involved in MatchAid, a UK junior fishing organisation, where I was part of a team of six and lucky enough to have been sponsored by a major UK tackle manufacturer.
To date, my biggest achievement in match fishing is qualifying for the final of the Feeder Masters series after winning a senior competition on the River Trent at Newark in Nottinghamshire. Furthermore, I was the youngest finalist at the event, an achievement in itself.
I am also involved in junior coaching and help to organise and run the junior matches at my local town lake in Lydney.
I continue to compete in numerous local and national senior fishing competitions, regularly fishing against many professional coarse match anglers.