27 August 2020
Meet The NXTGEN
- Ahead of this weekend’s £2,5000 FishOMania NXTGEN match, we profile the eight anglers taking part.
Katie Crooks (Lincolnshire)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: Debut
Lincolnshire student Katie has boyfriend Matthew assisting as her bank runner today, on what is her NXTGEN debut. The 16-year-old was captain as her team won Junior Team National gold last year, and was also on the winning time in the Ladies Team National last summer. She enjoys painting and drawing, boxing and going for beauty treatments and enjoys the competitive side of fishing.
Jack Damant (Ipswich)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: 2016 (winner)
Ipswich sign writer Jack was FishO Junior champion aged just 16 in 2016 and returns looking for a second FishO title this weekend. He describes himself as outgoing, mature and dedicated and lists winning Junior FishOMania alongside fishing for England as two of his angling career highlights.
John Light Junior (Hampshire)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: 2019 (6th)
John Light Junior lost his original bank runner when dad John Light qualified for the main event at the end of July. Last year he followed in his father’s footsteps by winning the Angling Trust Youth National, making the Lights the only father and son to have both lifted that title. That success earned him a FishO Juniors debut last year and he returns this weekend hoping to improve on his sixth-placed finish of 12 months ago.
Joshua Newman (Lincolnshire)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: 2019 (3rd)
Lincolnshire student Joshua has already been selected to represent England at under-20 level. The 17-year-old lists Will Raison among his favourite anglers and says he has a calm, cool-headed and determined personality. Joshua made his FishO debut last year in the Junior match, finishing third.
Will McCranor (Coventry)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: 2017 (Winner)
McCranor returns to FishO for the first time since lifting the Junior title in 2017. The 18-year-old has been fishing since he was four and won his section at the World Under-20s Championship in Spain last year. He enjoys rugby and football and describes himself as relaxed, competitive and hardworking.
Josh Paling (Nottinghamshire)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: 2018 (5th)
Apprentice plumber Josh came fifth at the World Youth Championship in 2018, the same placing he achieved in the FishOMania Juniors match that year. Nicknamed ‘JP’, Paling is from Mansfield and has a biggest match bag of 195lb.
Sarah Taylor (Wirral)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: Ladies 2019 (Winner)
Last year’s FishOMania Ladies champion Sarah says she’s obsessed with Little Mix and Dr Who and says she has a good sense of humour and is generous, loyal and ambition. She won last year’s Ladies match with 18kg, a winning bag weighing over 50% more than her closest competitor. The 20-year-old is a full-time student who also works as a social media co-ordinator for Maver.
Zak Worby-Smith (Norfolk)
Previous FishOMania NXTGEN appearances: 2018 (2nd) & 2019 (5th)
Zak was FishOMania Juniors runner-up two years ago and makes his third-consecutive appearance this weekend. The Norfolk angler lists grandad Bob Smith as his favourite angler and enjoys playing Xbox in his spare time.
In line with government guidelines, FishOMania 2020 will be staged behind-closed-doors with no public admittance. The event will be shown live on Sky Sports Action from 11.30am on Saturday, August 29. International broadcast details can be found here.
Live scoring from both matches will be available at www.fishomania.net and for the latest news and exclusive content, follow FishOMania on Facebook and Twitter. Archive footage from previous FishOMania finals can be viewed free at https://Matchroom.Live and on the Matchroom Multi Sport YouTube channel, where the draws can also be viewed.