I would love to let on about some of the products that are in the pipeline but they are so innovative that once they are released people will say "Why hasn't that been thought of before?" We have some unbelievable products on the table derived from the human food industry and some will be launched at the end of next year. We have a lot of hard work underway getting our retail base throughout the country established so our customers can purchase the product. This is why we have launched a quality product System-X that we are confident will be the mainstay for many years to come.
|The System-X Range|
SSP have been in the sports market for getting on for 10 years now and if something is worth doing, it's worth doing right. From the very outset we set about getting some popular baits that were on the market, totally broke them down in the kitchen and replaced the industrial ingredients with top quality human grade substitutes. We then went about experimenting with how certain ingredients, oils and milks interact with each other to create different releases of flavour and break down times. System-X is basically a five nut compound, it's the make up of the extracts in oil, powder and milk that makes the bait taste so good. We then set about the packaging which we knew had to be quality and looking good on the shelf, even more so with us being a new company in the market. Believe me, many hours of discussing, changes and prototype packaging we went through before we were happy with the brand that will be hitting the shelves.
As stated in the last question we have just acquired the brands back and we have a plan for them that will see them back in the market. It is no use just launching a product that will sit alongside other similar products, there must be a touch of innovation in its concept. The market is full of copies without any real innovation. Just look at the successful companies like Drennan, Preston and Fox, there are market leaders in innovation and a bench mark for product development in my view. Combine that innovation with the Korda marketing machine and then you have a base for a really good platform. Please believe me that I am in no way comparing any of our companies to these, they have been in the market for a very long time and earned their success through effort, innovation and very hard work. I don't think I could cope with the stress that goes along with that sort of size company lol!
The intervening years have been very busy for both myself and Kevin, we have both been in the property developing industry, me more site based and Kevin's family have been involved in developing leisure centres like the Kursaal at Southend on Sea and Rollerbowl at Romford. SSP has also seen the golf side of the company really take off and we now supply 700 courses in the UK and 32 countries worldwide with sports nutrition bars.
Both myself and Kevin were very lucky to have fished with a great team like Trev's Browning. When we won the Division One national in 1990 on the Witham, there were 91 teams and match fishing in my opinion was at its peak. We were innovators in the bloodworm and canal fishing that today is long gone. I was very lucky to learn off of the very best anglers like Dave Vincent, Pete Vasey and Graham Dack, great anglers and a great team.
The commercial venues have definitely saved the sport but my heart is still with the natural venues like the GUC or the River Lea where I was lucky to draw a few good pegs.
Nowadays it's the love of a fish that is going to pull back and I have gone over to the dark side lol! I love playing around with rigs, feeding strategy and fishing for the unknown. My partner and girls are Thai so Thailand will be my final destination but not for a few years yet.
|Mark with a nice carp|
My love affair with Thailand started when I first stepped off the plane in Bangkok airport some 8 years ago, I just had the sensation that I was home, it felt so right. I've been back every year since two or three times, got a house in Rayong, a lovely partner in Dee who loves the UK as much as I love Thailand and two gorgeous young daughters, Jessica (2) and Lucy (1). My partner Stephen Scrutton has the same love affair with Thailand and we operate Fish East Asia who organise fishing holidays in Thailand. www.fisheastasia.com
|Stephen Scrutton and Mark with a big Siamese Carp|
I have not got a clue to be honest Jamie, I wish my bank balance represented my lifestyle lol! I have some amazing people around me, some great friends and a family that are my rock in life. Family will always come first before anything and I always take time for Dee and the girls, that's important to me. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day but life is worth living, you're a long time dead. Since the heart attack in February 2014, I've trimmed down (but still a fat git lol!), have regular check ups, have been fitted with a ICD in my chest and I feel generally OK. It's amazing but I was actually dead for 14 minutes when I had the heart attack and it was only down to a GP shopping at the same time as me, that they managed to do CPR on me. I woke up two days later, not knowing a thing, no pain and still with all my faculties, amazing. I had all the tests at St Barts in London, there was no blockage, valves were fine, arteries fine, my heart just went out of rhythm. I'm one of the lucky ones and there is definitely a guardian angel upstairs looking after me.
132lb Giant Siamese Carp (Thailand)
39lb Common Carp (UK)
Giant Siamese Carp
A 200lb Giant Siamese Carp from Gillhams Fishing Resort
Gillhams Fishing Resort
Nowadays water, lol!
Do you support a football team?
What music do you listen to?
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Sounds idyllic, many thanks again Mark, from Against Men and Fish
And look out my SSP Baits review coming very soon.....