Category Archives: Team England

Italy Crowned Champions Of Europe

Italy win European team and individual gold on home soil! Belgium take the silver medal and Hungary bronze. 


Italy made few mistakes on the Bianco Canal to be crowned worthy champions with 56 penalty points. The home nation had double cause to celebrate with Giuliano Prandi claiming the individual gold medal as the only angler with a perfect two-point score.

Belgium filled second place and also had individual silver and bronze medals with Luc Thijs and Bart De Cree on four and five points respectively. 

Drennan Team England fared better on Day Two to finish 10th overall with William Raison the best performer in individual 8th place.

Congratulations to Italy, the new European Champions!

England Day One

  • A Section – Matt Godfrey, 11 points (5.97kg)
  • B Section – James Dent, 8.5 points (4.275kg)
  • C Section – William Raison, 5 points (6.699kg)
  • D Section – Alan Scotthorne, 15 points (4.06kg)
  • E Section – Matt Derry, 23 points (0.884kg)

England Day Two

  • A Section – James Dent, 12.5 points (3.69kg)
  • B Section – Callum Dicks, 15 points (2.05kg)
  • C Section – Matt Godfrey, 17 points (2.872kg)
  • D Section – William Raison, 3 points (9.17kg)
  • E Section – Alan Scotthorne, 6 points (10.986kg)
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Good Luck Drennan Team England!

Team England are in Italy this weekend competing in the 23rd European Championship.



The teams-of-five event sees 24 nations competing over two days on the Bianco Canal at Rovigo, on the 20th and 21st of May. England will be hoping to go one better than last year’s event where they took a well-earned silver medal in Holland.

This year’s talented England squad is a mixture of youth and experience with Alan Scotthorne, William Raison, Callum Dicks, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry and James Dent involved. James is the only angler without senior World or European experience and earns his call up after impressive performances in the past two Home Internationals. Team manager Mark Downes is also assisted by Steve Sanders this year, following Mark Addy’s retirement.

The match length is a 2km long section of the tidal Bianca Canal.

The match length is a 2km long section of the tidal Bianca Canal.

This year’s venue is in the north east of Italy, around 50km from Venice. It’s a large navigable canal averaging 90m wide and 4m deep. Being just 15km from the sea with no sluices it is also subject to tidal variations which can see the flow change direction and the levels rise and fall by up to a metre.

The key species will be bream and skimmers up to 2kg, but other possible species include carassio, mullet, catfish and bleak. Pole fishing over an initial bombardment of heavy groundbait is likely to be the dominant tactic, with large lollipop-style flat floats as large as 25g to 30g playing a major role when the canal flows.

The two four-hour matches will be fished to international rules in this float-only event. This includes strict bait limits, a 10-minute pre-baiting period and a 13m pole limit.

Despite last year’s resounding victory, Wales will sadly not be defending their crown as European Champions. Financial difficulties mean they have chosen to focus their attentions on the World Championship held in Belgium later on in the year.

Good luck to all of the competitors. The Italians are red-hot favourites and will be extremely difficult to beat on home soil, but we know Drennan Team England will be doing their very best to get on the podium!


The Drennan Team England squad for the 2017 European Championship consists of: (top row from left) Alan Scotthorne, James Dent, William Raison, (bottom row from left) Matt Derry, Callum Dicks and Matt Godfrey.

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All Set For The World Club Feeder Champs

Drennan Barnsley have been practicing hard in Spain for the inaugural World Feeder Championship For Clubs.


James Dent leans into a Spanish carp.

James Dent leans into a Spanish carp.

The talented team that will be competing in Spain over the weekend consists of Alan Scotthorne, Lee Kerry, Andy Power, Eddie Brydon and James Dent. A number of key squad members are also involved, including Gavin Leversidge, captain Glenn Lawrence and England legend Denis White. Gavin has very kindly sent us the following report, live from the bank:

We qualified at the back end of last year for the very first World Feeder Championships for Clubs along with Preston Telford. The tackle and four of the team left early last Friday for the 1,400-mile journey to the venue, which is a river called the Rio Júcar (or Xúquer in Spanish) in the town of Fortelany, about half an hour south of Valencia.


Alan Scotthorne in action.

The venue varies massively. Starting at A Section it’s very rocky on the near and far bank as well as overhanging trees all the way down. This area is 25 metres wide, so it flows a bit more than the rest of the river and is the better of the sections. Andy Power was best in practice from this area on Thursday with nearly 30kg, but all of the others caught as well.

The four days of official practice kicked off on Tuesday with Drennan Barnsley in D Section. This was the same as before with rocks on either bank, but 55 metres wide. We all expected it to be a lot better, but we had a major shock as the river had been in flood big style, with at least 2 metres of extra water! The water was freezing as well! The session was horrific as we managed only a handful of carp, some carassio, sunfish and eels.

We feared the worst the following day when we were in B section. By then, however, the water had miraculously warmed overnight and the colour dropped out. Some early carp got our hopes up, but the middle was very hard! Big Alan even managed a terrapin, which the venue seems to be full of!


Drennan Barnsley in practice.

We managed a few more fish towards the end of the session, so we finally had something to work on. A good session on Thursday has also lifted our spirits.

The whole venue is very peggy, so some areas are much harder than others. One big thing to also mention is the power of these fish. I have never seen and felt fish so powerful, ever! You can get broke on 0.25mm hooklengths! The rocks are proving a massive problem, too, with fish lost due to them rubbing on the rocks or getting snagged.

Yesterday was also the official parade and ceremony in the evening, which was an absolutely fantastic turnout from the locals clapping us all the way round.

Today is the last day of practice and hopefully we can get a bit of a plan together.

Good luck Drennan Barnsley!

Pictures courtesy of Gavin Leversidge and also our Spanish friends at Drennan HTF España who are the sponsors of one of the World Championship sections.

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European Champs Team Announced

James Dent earns a European Championship call up as the Drennan Team England squad is announced.


This year’s Euros is to be held on Italy’s Bianca Canal in Rovigo on the 20th and 21st of May. The squad includes the experienced and ever-impressive Alan Scotthorne and William Raison, plus Callum Dicks, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry and debutant James Dent.

James is a former Under 23 international who has earned his place after impressive performances in the last two Home Internationals. Manager Mark Downes commented: “James is an outstanding young angler with a wealth of experience on rivers and he showed his pedigree in the recent Home International at Shrewsbury by winning the two-day event with a perfect 2 point score.

“The two Matts shone in last year’s Europeans in Holland while Callum did brilliantly in last year’s World Championship in Bulgaria.

“With the experience of Will and Alan I feel this team has a chance of improving on last year’s silver medal, although beating the Italians in Italy is never easy.”

England U20s and Daiwa Dorking manager Steve Sanders also joins Mark Downes in a management role, following Mark Addy’s retirement last year. Mark added: “This is a two man job. Steve and myself have worked well together at youth level and we are both excited about taking that into the senior championships. Like myself, Steve likes to win and I am sure our combined experience will help Drennan Team England scoop even more medals.”

The team has been selected early as the event has temporarily moved from the end of June to mid May.

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Hemingray Tops World Rankings

Drennan Team England ace Steve Hemingray is currently ranked No1 in the world according to the Italian Fishing TV website.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of


Steve topped Day 2 of the 2016 World Champs in Bulgaria with this 8.96kg catch on the waggler.

The result is based on international performances over the past five World Championships, with each angler needing to have fished six or more of the 10 match days. Steve, who was also crowned European Champion in 2009, won an individual silver medal in the 2013 World Champs in Poland and also won Day 2 of the 2016 World Champs last year in Bulgaria.

With credentials like this it is perhaps no surprise that he leads the field with 2.83 points. This places him ahead of French stalwart Stephane Pottelet on 3.11 points and the Czech Republic’s rising star Ondra Pokorný on 3.17 points.

As expected, other members of the hugely talented Team England squad are right up there too, with Alan Scotthorne 10th, William Raison 13th and Sean Ashby 19th.

You can read the full story (in Italian) on the website.

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Team England Win The Home International

England are the 2016 Home International Champions after a dominant two-day performance on the River Severn at Shrewsbury. 


The seven man squad of William Raison, Callum Dicks, Lee Kerry, Cameron Hughes, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry and James Dent showed their class to win six sections on Day One and another six sections on Day Two. The talented team dropped just two points to finish the event with a terrific 16-point score.

Team England's James Dent was top individual over the two days.

Team England’s James Dent was top individual over the two days.

Wales and Scotland tied on 36 points with Wales taking the silver medal position with a slightly greater combined weight. Ireland ended up fourth with 52 points.

The second day match winner was James Dent, who included a 6lb barbel in his 16lb 1oz catch. That also helped him to the top individual spot over the two days with a perfect two-point score and a 27lb 15oz total, just ahead of Matt Godfrey on 26lb 14oz.

The River Severn at Shrewsbury proved to be an excellent choice of venue and it was great to see plenty of roach and dace being caught throughout the match length. It was also encouraging to see several younger, up-and-coming anglers doing so well on the international stage.

Day Two Teams:

  • 1st England 8pts
  • =2nd Wales 18pts
  • =2nd Scotland 18pts
  • 4th Ireland 26pts

Day Two Individuals:

  • 1st James Dent (England) 16lb 4oz
  • 2nd Cameron Hughes (England) 11lb 12oz
  • 3rd Matt Godfrey (England) 11lb 2oz
  • 4th Dave McAuley (Scotland) 10lb 2oz 8drm

Overall Teams:

  • 1st England 16pts
  • 2nd Wales 36pts
  • 3rd Scotland 36pts
  • 4th Ireland 52pts

Overall Individuals:

  • 1st James Dent (England) 2pts (27lb 15oz 8drm)
  • 2nd Matt Godfrey (England) 2pts (26lb 14oz 8drm)
  • 3rd William Raison (England) 2pts (23lb 5oz 8drm)
  • 4th Darren Frost (Wales) 2pts (22lb 1oz)
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England Lead After Day One

Drennan Team England dominate Day One of the Home International after a terrific day on the River Severn at Shrewsbury. 


Team England’s Matt Godfrey in match-winning action on the River Severn.

The talented seven-man squad consisted of William Raison, Callum Dicks, Lee Kerry, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry, James Dent and Cameron Hughes. Together they posted six section wins and a second to take the lead on 8 points. Wales and Scotland are currently joint second on 18 points with Ireland on 26 points.

Matt's winning catch, including a personal best 2lb 7oz roach!

Matt’s Day One winning catch, including a personal best 2lb 7oz roach!

Anglers all used a mixture of pole, waggler and bolo tactics to target the roach and dace shoals. Pike were also troublesome in areas on this relatively low and clear river.

There were some huge roach caught on the day and none more so than Team England’s Matt Godfrey who managed several impressive redfins to 2lb 7oz. This stunning personal best roach helped him to the individual top spot on the day with 15lb 12oz 8drm.

Just behind with a fantastic 50/50 net of smaller roach and dace was the ever-impressive William Raison with 14lb 3oz 8drm. Wales’ Darren Frost took third with a hard-earned 12lb+ catch of dace. James Dent put on a skilled display of bolo fishing for his fourth place 11lb+ catch of roach.

Day One Teams: 

  • 1st England 8pts
  • =2nd Wales 18pts
  • =2nd Scotland 18pts
  • 4th Ireland 26pts

Day One Individuals:

  • 1st Matt Godfrey (England) 15lb 12oz 8drm
  • 2nd William Raison (England) 14lb 3oz 8drm
  • 3rd Darren Frost (Wales) 12lb 1oz 8drm
  • 4th James Dent (England) 11lb 11oz 8drm
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Home International 2016

Today is the first day of the Home International between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

River Severn at Shrewsbury.

Last year’s event was held on the Newry Canal in Ireland and saw Drennan Team England  post a convincing win. This year’s competition is on the River Severn in Shrewsbury and it looks like England and reigning European Champions Wales are the pre-match joint favourites.

The picturesque Shrewsbury town centre section hosting the event has been fishing well leading up to the event and, although the large head of migratory dace have yet to arrive in numbers, there are already plenty of roach to target with perch and occasional chub also figuring in catches. Roach of well over a pound are not uncommon on this length, so it will be interesting to see how they respond to an international-style approach with bloodworm and joker in groundbait.

Rod and line tactics are also going to be vital, with waggler and bolo rods also being set up by all four nations.

Drennan Team England’s squad is a talented mix of youth and experience and includes William Raison, Callum Dicks, Lee Kerry, Matt Godfrey, Matt Derry, James Dent and Cameron Hughes. All seven will be fishing both days. They now have two exciting four-hour matches to try and hold onto the title they won so convincingly last year.

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World Bronze For Team England

England win team bronze in Bulgaria. Hungary are crowned World Champions!


Drennan Team England can hold their heads up high after a bronze-medal result in this year’s World Championship in Bulgaria. This follows their bronze medal last year in Slovenia and European silver in Holland earlier in the year.


Rod and line tactics dominated on the Plovdiv Rowing Course.

Bulgaria’s Plovdiv Rowing Course proved to be a challenging venue with carp and carassio the key target species. The number one method for most of the nations was the rod and line, using 10g to 15g wagglers or sliders cast up to 40 metres. Each angler fed an initial bombardment of 25 to 50 ‘sausages’ of groundbait, catapulted in during the initial 10-minute pre-baiting period. This was typically a sweet, maize-based mix containing sweetcorn, bloodworm, joker and chopped worms.


Callum Dicks in section-winning action.


Will Raison attacks his waggler swim.

England were lying in fourth after the first day and knew they needed to be ultra-positive on Day Two to stand a chance of overtaking the early leaders Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic. While most other nations also fed long-pole swims, England made a bold gamble to conserve almost all of their 20-litre groundbait allowance for their all-important waggler line. Regular top-up volleys of three or four balls helped to pull in the inquisitive carassio before they characteristically backed off again.

Tiny sun perch could be targeted with short whips.

Tiny sun perch could be targeted with short whips.

The only other tactic in England’s armoury was a short 1.5m to 2.5m whip swim, fed with small balls of groundbait and maggots. This was merely a back-up in case anyone needed to target the tiny chub, bleak and sun perch living in the margins.

Steve Hemingray on his way to a section and match win.

Steve Hemingray on his way to a section and match win.

England’s bold gamble seemed to instantly pay off as four of the team were winning their sections at the halfway stage. They had managed to catch more bonus carp than any other nation but, as they feared, these bigger fish switched off in the third and fourth hour. It was a difficult balancing act between feeding enough bait to hold the carp but not too much to put off the cautious carassio. The smaller carassio often responded instantly to the noise of extra bait while the bigger carp seemed to require a slight pause before they would settle and feed.

One fish cost Will Raison individual gold.

One fish cost William Raison the individual gold.

William Raison had been England’s most consistent performer in practice and another individual gold medal was well within his sights after a Day One section win. He was comfortably leading his section on Day Two for three hours before being overtaken by France and Poland in the final stages. Tragically, he hooked a 2kg carp that kited to one side and interfered with a neighbour’s swim on this tightly pegged venue. This disqualified carp ultimately cost him individual gold! Will ended up with 6.34kg for a third in section with France’s Mickael Boursaud winning with 7.08kg.

Steve Hemingray's winning catch.

Steve Hemingray’s winning catch.

Elsewhere, Steve Hemingray and Callum Dicks both had excellent days, comfortably winning their sections with 8.96kg and 8.65kg respectively. These were also the top two weights on the day, proving how effective the team’s carp-based tactics had been. It was nip and tuck all the way in Des Shipp’s section and he ended up with a solid fourth with 4.79kg.

With four great point scores, all eyes were now on Sean Ashby in C Section. He had come in to replace Alan Scotthorne, who was 10th the day before, and sadly found the going equally tough. The former World Champion never caught the early carp he desperately needed and despite trying everything he ended up a disappointing 14th in section.

Co-manager Mark Downes looks on as Sean Ashby finds the going tough.

Co-manager Mark Downes looks on as Sean Ashby finds the going tough.

England matched their Day One 23-point score to finish third on the day, a point behind Hungary and just two points behind Day Two winners France. Pre-match favourites Italy surprised everyone with a disastrous second day that cost them dearly!

Overall, it was Hungary who were crowned very worthy champions after two very consistent team performances gave them a 34-point total. The Czech Republic were next on 42 points and England just four points further adrift on 46 points.

The new World Champion, Slovenia's Jernej Ambrozic.

The new World Champion, Slovenia’s Jernej Ambrozic.

Slovenia’s Jernej Ambrozic is this year’s World Champion and was the only angler to record two section wins. The Czech Republic’s Josef Konopasek took silver and Slovakia’s Rastislav Dudr took bronze, both with three points.

Bulgaria were fine hosts and the Plovdiv Rowing Course proved to be a very fair venue, albeit hot and tightly pegged. Once again, congratulations to all of the teams and individual medal winners! Next year the World Championship is in Belgium.

Day Two Result: (34 teams)

  • 1st France 21pts
  • 2nd Hungary 22pts
  • 3rd England 23pts
  • 4th Czech Republic 24pts
  • 5th Belgium 27pts
  • 6th Bulgaria 28pts

Overall Result: (34 teams)

  • 1st Hungary 34pts
  • 2nd Czech Republic 42pts
  • 3rd England 46pts
  • 4th Italy 54pts
  • 5th Sweden 58pts
  • 6th France 60pts

Individual Result:

  • 1st Jernej Ambrozic (Slovenia) 2pts (13.369kg)
  • 2nd Josef Konopasek (Czech Republic) 3pts (13.788kg)
  • 3rd Rastislav Dudr (Slovakia) 3pts (10.787kg)
  • 4th Mitja Kmetec (Slovenia) 4pts (15.556kg)
  • 5th William Raison (England) 4pts (14.884kg)
  • 6th Tamas Walter (Hungary) 4pts (11.694kg)

England Day One:

  • A Section: William Raison 1pt (8.5kg)
  • B Section: Alan Scotthorne 10pts (2.9kg)
  • C Section: Callum Dicks 4pts (4.4kg)
  • D Section: Steve Hemingray 6pts (4.2kg)
  • E Section: Des Shipp 2pts (9.8kg)

England Day Two:

  • A Section: Callum Dicks 1pt (8.6kg)
  • B Section: Des Shipp 4pts (4.7kg)
  • C Section: Sean Ashby 14pts (1.0kg)
  • D Section: William Raison 3pts (6.3kg)
  • E Section: Steve Hemingray 1pt (8.9kg)

Check out the Drennan Facebook page to view our extensive World Champs Photo Albums.

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World Champs – Day One Report

Drennan Team England are still in contention after finishing in fourth place after Day One of the World Championship. Individual medal hopes are also high for Des Shipp and William Raison.


Sport was tough but exciting to watch with carp and carassio on the waggler dominating. Anglers have had to battle the sweltering 30-plus degrees heat as well as the difficult to catch residents of Bulgaria’s Plovdiv Rowing Course.


A very welcome bonus carp for Hungary!

Top on the day today was Hungary who put in a stellar team performance to post just 12 penalty points. They had a 5.783kg section win from Gabor Magyar plus three second in sections to thank and clearly had the tactics right on the day. While most nations sat it out for the all-important quality fish at range, several of their team, including Gabor, also targeted the nearside slope for tiny bleak and sun perch during the quieter periods to give them precious extra grams.


Italy fed aggressively all day.


An active mix worked well for Italy.

Italy went into the competition as pre-match favourites and were not far behind on 15 points. They had three outright section winners in the shape of Ferrucio Gabba (9.991kg), Giuliano Prandi (8.986kg) and Gianluigi Sorti (7.387kg).


Jacopo Falsini chopping up more worms mid match.

The Italians really attacked a waggler/slider line at around 40 metres with plenty of groundbait accurately and regularly fed by catapult. They appeared to have a really active mix that helped to draw in fish and also fed plenty of chopped worms throughout the day. A bunch of bloodworm, two or three redworms or maggots were the top hook baits.

The Czech Republic finished the day on 19 points and also had two section winners; Ladislav Konopasek (7.856kg) and Josef Konopasek (6.7kg). Things could have been even better had one of their team managed to net a huge fish (rumoured to be a catfish) that was played for over 45 minutes before it shed the hook!


Will Raison was as impressive as ever!

England did well to amass 23 points for fourth on the day. William Raison has been the team’s star man all week, so few were surprised to see him win A Section with an impressive 19 fish for 8.539kg. After a slow start he ended up overtaking former World Champion Goran Radovic from Serbia who ended up with 7.3kg.


Des Shipp’s 9.808kg catch.

Des Shipp also came good later on in the match with a terrific performance that saw him end with 20 fish for 9.808kg and second in E Section. He had a great next-peg battle with 24-year-old Kevin Ebner from Germany, who took third in section with 7.694kg.

Mitt's match-winning catch.

Mitja’s match-winning catch.

All eyes, however, were on Slovenia’s Mitja Kmetec, several swims to their right. He managed to very skilfully net a last-gasp carp with just a minute to spare, screamed with joy, then immediately stopped fishing and had a well-earned beer! He ended up with 11 fish for a section and match-winning 11.458kg. Redworms on the hook and a ‘secret’ additive in his groundbait were the key, which we believe was fishmeal – something very few teams had opted to use, including England!


Steve Hemingray nets an early carp in D Section.


Callum Dicks had a solid team performance.

Elsewhere for Team England, Callum Dicks managed a hard-earned fourth in section with 4.4kg behind Italy, Serbia and Hungary. Steve Hemingray had 4.2kg for a sixth in an extremely tight D Section. Alan Scotthorne had a frustrating day in B Section to end up 10th with 2.981kg. He had a good carp disallowed for tethering another angler’s rig. Just another 500g would have placed him fifth!

A silver carp, a species sadly not allowed to be weighed in on this event.

A silver carp, a species sadly not allowed to be weighed in on this event.

England learnt a considerable amount from Day One and will now be looking to put their findings into practice on Day Two. As any international will tell you, a World Championship cannot be won on the first day, but it can definitely be lost. They will be happy to end the day still in contention. Des and William also have a fantastic chance of an individual medal if things go well. We have an exciting four-hour match ahead!

Day One Result: (34 teams)

  • 1st Hungary 12pts
  • 2nd Italy 15pts
  • 3rd Czech Republic 19pts
  • 4th England 23pts
  • 5th Sweden 25pts
  • 6th Serbia 30pts

England Day One:

  • A Section: William Raison 1pt (8.5kg)
  • B Section: Alan Scotthorne 10pts (2.9kg)
  • C Section: Callum Dicks 4pts (4.4kg)
  • D Section: Steve Hemingray 6pts (4.2kg)
  • E Section: Des Shipp 2pts (9.8kg)

Check out the Drennan Facebook page to view our extensive World Champs Photo Albums.

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