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Dublin youngster signs for Brisbane Lions in latest move by Irish player to AFL

Ballyboden St-Enda’s player James Madden has made the switch.

YOUNG DUBLIN FOOTBALLER James Madden has been snapped up by AFL club Brisbane Lions on a two-year contract.

James Madden James Madden in action in last year's Leinster minor football final. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Madden has been linked with the club for some time and has now signed on officially as a Category B international rookie for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The Ballyboden St-Enda’s club man was part of Dublin’s Leinster minor title winning side last summer before they lost out to Derry in the All-Ireland semi-final. Last month Madden lined out at centre-forward on the Dublin U20 side that lost the EirGrid Leinster football final against Kildare in Tullamore.

Madden featured in the AFL European Combine in UCD last December before being invited to the AFL Academy in Florida in January.

His 20m sprint (2.69 seconds) and agillity times (7.76) at the European Combine bettered the respective AFL Draft Combine records (2.75 seconds and 7.77).

“It’s a bit surreal to be honest,” Madden told the Brisbane Lions website, when speaking of his move.


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“I knew I’ve been coming for a while now and it’s great to finally be here. It’s a bit weird meeting all the coaches and players, seeing them on Instagram and stuff for the last while. So it’s good to be here.

“It’s something a lot of Irish lads would love to get this opportunity. I’m really going to cherish it and it’s a good challenge. A new experience, new country, new city, good to be here.”

Madden’s arrival brings to 12 the number of Irish players currently with AFL clubs.

  • Derry – Conor Glass (Hawthorn)
  • Dublin – James Madden (Brisbane Lions)
  • Galway – Cillian McDaid (Carlton)
  • Kerry – Mark O’Connor (Geelong)
  • Kilkenny – Darragh Joyce (St Kilda)
  • Laois – Zach Tuohy (Geelong)
  • Louth – Ciaran Byrne (Carlton)
  • Mayo – Pearce Hanley (Gold Coast)
  • Meath – Conor Nash (Hawthorn)
  • Tipperary – Colin O’Riordan (Sydney Swans)
  • Tyrone – Conor McKenna (Essendon)
  • Westmeath – Ray Connellan (St Kilda)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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