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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Stockport County pay 'substantial fee' for once-capped Ireland striker Madden

The 31-year-old Dubliner is dropping down two levels by ending his three-year spell at Fleetwood Town.

bristol-rovers-v-fleetwood-town-sky-bet-league-one-memorial-stadium Paddy Madden celebrates after scoring for Fleetwood Town against Bristol Rovers earlier this season. Source: PA

STOCKPORT COUNTY HAVE pulled off a significant coup in their bid to end a decade-long absence from the English Football League.

The Edgeley Park club have completed the signing of Irish striker Paddy Madden from League One side Fleetwood Town.

With Stockport currently sitting in the National League’s play-off places as they aim for promotion, Madden is dropping down two levels by making the move.

It comes just over a month after he became Fleetwood’s record goalscorer in the Football League by netting in a 3-1 win over Doncaster Rovers. 

“It is testament to the excitement that surrounds the club that a player coveted by many clubs of higher levels sees his immediate future with us,” said Stockport County’s director of football Simon Wilson.

“We don’t make this signing without the fanbase we have, the infrastructure we have and the vision we have here at the football club. Together it is incredibly powerful and shows how special it is to be here right now.”

Madden spent three years at Fleetwood Town after joining the club from Scunthorpe United. He went on to score 51 goals in 149 appearances in all competitions.

Since January, Stockport have been managed by Simon Rusk, who aided the development of players like Aaron Connolly and Jayson Molumby during his time as U23 boss at Brighton & Hove Albion.

“While his experience and track record speaks for itself, I am drawn to his attitude and hunger for the game,” Rusk said of his newest addition.

“When he walks into our dressing room, he will find similar spirits. We have a strong, together and like-minded group, and this is what makes Paddy a fantastic addition for us.”

Madden, who was contracted to Fleetwood until the summer of 2022, helped the club to the cusp of promotion to the Championship last July. However, they ultimately suffered a play-off semi-final defeat to Wycombe Wanderers under former manager Joey Barton.

At the age of 31, Madden has signed a contract with Stockport that runs until the summer of 2024. According to Fleetwood, “a substantial undisclosed fee” was paid by Stockport to secure his services.

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The Dubliner, who was capped by Ireland in a 2013 friendly against Wales, hadn’t been named in the starting line-up in Fleetwood’s last six games. The club recently appointed former Sunderland boss Simon Grayson as Joey Barton’s permanent successor.

“Paddy has been a fantastic player for Fleetwood Town Football Club and the decision to allow him to leave has been very difficult,” explained chairman Andy Pilley.

“Not only is he our record EFL goalscorer, but he’s also been a hugely popular character among the players, staff and, of course, supporters.

“However, all good things come to an end at some point and it’s important we do what’s best for the future of the club. As a club, we have a big summer ahead and we intend to strengthen the squad, as well as continue to develop the huge talents we have coming through in our U23s and youth academy.

“Once the offer came in from Stockport, we spoke to Paddy to see how he felt about it all. He’s 31 now and taking into consideration his diminishing game-time in recent months, we came to an agreement it would be a good time to shake hands, thank him, and wish him well for the future.

“Paddy also made it clear the chance to sign a long-term contract was too much of a draw for him and his family, so it’s a deal which suits everyone. I’d personally like to thank Paddy for all his efforts and wish him well for the future.”

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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