Source: Angling Trust
The rest of the England squad for the championship has been named as: Will Raison, Alan Scotthorne, Sean Ashby, Des Shipp and Steve Hemmingray.
Joint team manager, Mark Downes, said of Callum’s selection:
“Callum performed brilliantly in the European Championship in Belgium; he works hard at his sport and, despite his age, shows an amazing amount of confidence, technical ability and water craft.
I have watched Callum develop in recent seasons since leaving the Under 23s international scene, and I am confident he is the first of a new generation of top class youngsters who are emerging onto the international match scene who will make up the England team for years to come.
Already well travelled with podium places in Italy, France and Belgium, he is a great all-rounder and I am sure he will be an asset to the team.
This year one of the most difficult decisions me and Mark Addy have ever had to make was to leave out Steve Gardener. Steve has had an amazingly long and prolific international career and has played a major part in building Team England’s success.
However, we now feel that the time is right to give the next generation the chance to develop their own careers.
We both wish to thank Steve for all of the hard work he has afforded the team over the 13 years we have been co- managers and the part he has played in helping us secure six gold medals during that time.”
Dick Clegg, International Events Manager of the Angling Trust commented:
“Has the curtain finally come down on England’s most capped International World Championship coarse angler?
Steve Gardener has been left out of the squad to compete in Croatia this year after 27 successive years since he was first selected by me in 1987. That year England won in Portugal and Steve has been part of 11 more gold medal winning teams since then.
It is not difficult to summarise what Steve’s contribution to the team has been in all those years: dedication, team spirit, ability, professionalism and, above all, his willingness to put team success before individual glory. In other words he has been the ultimate team professional.
Mark Downes and Mark Addy England’s management pairing feel that to continue with their tremendous winning record then changes need to be made and, unfortunately, Steve will have to stand down to make way for the youth.
It must have been particularly difficult to make a decision to leave him out, but I totally agree with their reasoning, although I sympathise tremendously with Steve. I personally would like to thank Steve Gardener for being part of England’s winning formula and congratulate him on 27 years as a member of the world’s most successful coarse fishing team.”
Steve Gardener image courtesy of Bury Hill Fisheries