ENGLAND’S world-beating U20 coarse squad has signed a major new sponsorship deal with Beechfield Original Headwear – the company behind some of the country’s biggest sportwear brands.

Led by team manager Jason Kirk and coach Samantha Sim, the Angling Trust U20s squad dominated last summer’s World Youth Championships in Portugal winning team gold and securing gold and silver individual medals too.

The runaway victory was their second major success in two years, following a hard-fought team silver medal at the championships in Slovenia in 2022.

And the core of the squad – previously sponsored by law firm SSB Group – will be returning again for the 2024 competition, this time held on Serbia’s DTD Canal in August.
World Champ Josh Duffy, silver medallist Billy Kirk, George McHugh, and Alfie Nicholls have all been selected again, and will be joined by new caps Harry Franklin, Jacob Lees, and James Geddes for Serbia.

This time it will be with the backing of Bury-based Beechfield – the brand behind many items of fishing headwear on the banks today and keen supporters of youth fishing.
“We’re so proud to be able to support this incredible group of young anglers. They’ve put in a ton of dedication and teamwork getting ready for the World Championship and I’m sure they’ll smash it again this year,” said Beechfield’s Head of Marketing, Matt O’Connor.

Angling Trust Head of Competitions and Team England, Steve Fitzpatrick, added: “I’d like to thank Jeremy and the SSB Group for their support of the team over the past two years. There’s no doubt their backing created a stable base for the team to focus on success.
“Beechfield shares our passion to help young people realise their dreams through quality support, coaching, and financial backing, and I’m sure this group will continue to dominate the World scene and continue their domestic successes too.
“I have a great deal of respect for the manager, coaches, parent group, and the anglers in the squad. This is an incredibly hardworking group who all exhibit the right team spirit and work ethic for winning. They’ve been preparing themselves for this year’s World Championship for months and I’m sure they will excel once again.”

Team manager Jason Kirk is delighted with the support from Beechfield Headwear.
Jason added: “I’d like to thank Matt at Beechfield for their amazing support for the squad. It takes a lot of the pressure off and means the anglers can fully focus on their fishing.
“This squad’s performances are the proof of what great young anglers can achieve when they have the backing they need to succeed.”

* For more on this story, plus interviews and a behind the scenes look at the team’s recent training day check out our Angling Trust Competitions YouTube Channel.

More info on Beechfield at

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