Top young angler Josh Newman is gearing up for his biggest-ever match after being invited to fish for England against the best in the world.
The 14-year-old was selected in a five-man under 15s squad after an exhaustive series of trials to compete at the world championships at Inniscarra, in Ireland, later this summer.
Josh first took up the sport when he tagged along with his dad and keen angler Elliott, splitting his time between the lake and the football pitch.
The Carre’s Grammar School pupil was good enough to play for Lincoln City’s junior set-up, but knee problems persuaded him to give up football at 11 and focus his attention fully on angling.
Dad Elliott said: “Josh started coming along on Saturday afternoons after matches and loved it.
“He has been fishing adult matches for a year-and-a-half and now has sponsorship from a tackle shop in Durham.
“He is at a point where the matches and the gear he needs for them is accelerating costs so if anyone wants to contribute that would be really helpful.”
Josh, who lives in a village near Sleaford, was called up for England Under 18s trials as a 12-year-old, but narrowly missed out because of his age.
However, the introduction of a national under 15s team this year opened up new avenue.
The long road to Ireland began last November when he embarked with 95 other hopefuls from the Angling Trust’s UK talent pathway programme on a series of trials.
As the numbers were whittled down, the last 12 were invited for one final trial.
After a tense four-hour match, England selector Joe Roberts rewarded Josh’s three years of hard work and dedication with a coveted place in the five-man team.
They will practise in Ireland for five days before fishing the World Championship over two days on August 12 and 13.
Elliott added: “It wasn’t what you caught, but how you fished. The selectors wanted them to fish the match exactly as they would have to in Ireland.
“Josh drew the worst peg on the lake so he didn’t catch a lot, but he fished exactly the way they wanted him to.
“To get in the top five in the country is something I couldn’t have dreamed of.”
* If you would like to support Josh’s burgeoning career, call Elliott on 07514 944964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Josh, read his regular blog at www.joshnewmanfishing.com