NCFFI Feeder Team Ireland win the World Championships and Individual Gold in MĂ©rida, Spain.

Team Ireland smashed their way to the podium and are World Champions ten years on from the team’s silver medal finish on Inniscarra Lake, Co. Cork. In a double victory Michael Buchwalder achieved individual world championship status just two years on from his silver medal in Belgium 2022.

NCFFI Feeder Manager Brenton Sweeney’s squad, currently ranked 8th in the world includes anglers at the top of their game, Michael Buchwalder, Johnny McKinley, James O’Doherty, Charlie Richards and Rory Dunne who made his debut on the team this year. Team Ireland faced some of the World’s best match anglers from the 20 nations teams including top ranking  teams England, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Brenton Sweeney says:- “It has long been my ambition to achieve a medal for the team overseas, a first for Team Ireland, and thanks to the dedication of the squad, and the hard work of Assistant Manager Nigel Houldsworth and our runners on the bank it’s a dream come true.  Thank you to the NCFFI, sponsors Van Den Eyne Ireland and all our supporters back home.”

The efforts of the NCFFI and all involved in Irish angling are starting to pay off. This is the first Gold medal for Team Ireland and the first medal achieved overseas. Only a year ago on Lough Muckno in County Monaghan NCFFI clubs representing Team Ireland, Lurgan AC and CM Lakelands became Club World Champions and Bronze medallists in feeder fishing respectively. Prior to this it was 2010 when the float fishing club team Triana Image Dublin took Bronze in Portugal.

NCFFI Chair, Jack Tisdall says:- “Congratulations to our manager Brenton Sweeney and his feeder fishing team on this truly historic occasion, winning team and individual gold in Spain.  Over the past number of year’s Brenton has dedicated himself to raising the profile of feeder fishing in Ireland and the NCFFI are delighted to have played its part in supporting our teams.  This result is just reward for all the hard work and personal sacrifice made by the team management, bank support and the team members over a number of World Championships which had already seen Team Ireland Feeder rank in the top ten while competing against fully funded nations with professional anglers. Brenton all I can say is that we are all really proud of your achievement, may there be many more to come.”

Top 5 Individual World Championship Feeder Fishing for Nations

Individually, Michael’s Gold medal comes 50 years on from when Bobby Smithers famously became Ireland’s first World Champion in 1984, followed only by Charlie Richards who became the Under 20 World Champion, float fishing in 2022.

Squad members Charlie Richards and Michael Buchwalder are now Ireland’s only anglers to hold the gold medal in both individual and team categories. Johnny McKinley is the first ever recipient of two gold team medals in Irish coarse angling sport.

The venue, the Rio Guadiana at Mérida has been good to Irish anglers, Ireland’s Cathal Hughes previously won the Silver Medal here in 2010. This fish filled river produced plenty of carp and carassio in weights of 20 to 40kg for the anglers in competition. The odd catfish was caught with bleak and barbel also present.

Team Ireland finished day one with 30 points and a total weight 150.540. Rory Dunne making his debut on the team finished second in sector B and the youngest member of the squad at 19yrs Charlie Richards had 57 fish for the team’s top weight of 36.900 finishing 5th in Sector A. 2022 Silver medalist Michael Buchwalder finished 3rd to two former World Champions in Sector B. James O’Doherty Sector D and Johnny McKinley Sector E finished 4th and 16th respectively. A second impressive day saw Michael finish first in sector D with James 4th and Charlie 5th in sectors C and A. It was a better day for Johnny McKinley as he finished 7th in E sector and Rory Dunne 12th in B resulting in an overall points score of 59 and a total weight of 315.340kg. Lithuania finished just one point behind with 304.320kg for Silver and in the Bronze position, Germany 62pts and 303.670kg.

World Champions NCFFI Team Ireland