If you REALLY feel that you have to choose one discipline at this early stage in your angling developement then I would suggest that you choose match fishing.
You will learn far more from match anglers about feeding and getting bites than you will from specimen hunters.When you have got bored with catching small fish you will then be able to apply your knowledge to catching bigger ones.
I think it is more dependant on your nature. Are you prepared to sit, for possibly days on end with out so much as a bit, but with the reward of a big fish. Or are you happier putting together a weight of fish over a shorter period.
Myself, I can't sit with nothing happening for more that 5/6 hours. Plus I hate to blank. I'd rather catch a finger roach than nothing at all. I'm also very competative. Whilst I don't yet match fish (I have fished just 1 so far) it is much more me.
That being said I have just been fishing for the last 20 years. Enjoy your fishing and don't feel the need to specialise just yet.
Yeagh (sorry that was a bit Wol like!) Totally agree with Eddie.True allrounders are few and far between these days.IMO too be a good angler in any of the different areas of angling requires knowledge of them all.Just look at todays top anglers.Like them or not you can not deny that the likes of Wilson and Hayes are extremely sucsessfull.Also it is great fun being an all rounder.All ways something new to learn.In the old days any specimen hunter could hold his own against a matchman because he had been there.I doubt if many could these days.
Wasn't having a go at carp anglers Dave .....I was having a go at the mentality of some of the young anglers coming into our sport ..You see them in the tackle shop with Mum and Dad --buying a full carp set up and within 6 months they are selling it all simply because they havent caught a 20. ----they want to be instant big fish anglers ... and it just doesnt work like that...
Now if they also honed all the other skills i.e. float fishing ,fishing on rivers,fishing the leger ,maybe a bit of match fishing they would get far more enjoyment out of the sport......
Graham , myself and a group went to Authon in France cat and carp fishing one year and took about 4 young lads with us ,and one of them (who fished solely for carp in England )was watching Graham and John float fishing for carp along one of the margins and asked could he have a go ---John tackled a float rod up for him and he caught his first 20 ---He'd never float fished before and said he didn't know you could catch carp on the float on sweetcorn .....after that you couldn't get him off the float .....and he had quite a few more fish ...
To any very young angler I would say just go out and catch fish. Use methods that work. Float fishing, legering etc. In my area there are miles and miles of canal and river fishing that any youngster can fish for next to nothing and they are full of fish.
In time you will get the inclination where your fishing should develop. I was brought up under the wing of people like **** Walker and Tag Barnes who were, at the time, pioneers of specimen hunting.
By the way if you can beg or borrow the book "Advanced Coarse Fishing" by Graham Marsden, there is a chapter in it where Graham approaches an old roach angler who really knew a thing or two about catching good roach on the local canal. And what he learned stood him in good stead for the rest of his life.
This chapter is a classic and such an experience also happened to myself.
Read it, if you can get a copy of this lovely little book.
If not, I might, just might get Graham to re-publish this chapter on FM. It epitomises all that young anglers should learn and experience.