The Brisbane Lions are excited to announce the signing of fast and agile Irishman, James Madden.
The Dubliner will join the Lions after signing a two-year contract as a Category B Rookie for the 2019 and 2020 AFL season.
The Irishman broke the all-time AFL Draft Combine 20 metre sprint record at the European Combine last year, running at 2.69 seconds. He also travelled to Florida, USA to train with the AFL Academy.
In his homeland, Madden stars for Dublin in both Gaelic football and Hurling but is ready to test the water in AFL in Australia.
“A lot of Irish lads would love to get this opportunity. You’ve really got to cherish it. It’s a good challenge obviously, new experience, new country, new city,” Madden told lions.com.au.
After signing with the Club, the 18-year-old has been at the Gabba touring the facilities and meeting his new teammates this past week.
“I knew it had been coming for a while now and it’s great to finally be here,” he said.
Lions list manager Dom Ambrogio visited Madden and his family in Dublin earlier this year. Former Lion Cian Hanley also played a part in the recruiting process.
“He [Ambrogio] had a great chat with me and my Dad and talked through the process,” Madden said.
General Manager of Football David Noble said the Lions were impressed with Madden’s ball speed, ball control and decision making.
“In list management, it is important to explore all sport talent options,” Noble said.
“We’re excited to secure his services for the next couple of years.”
Noble believes Madden will have no troubles learning the intricacies of his new game.
“The work that our team have been doing with our first and second-year development players has been second to none. The results have shown for themselves and are really quite impressive.”
Madden will spend the next two weeks in Brisbane before flying back to Ireland.
He will re-join the Lions in November for the 2019 pre-season.