Watch: Lightning quick Dublin teenager James Madden joins the Brisbane Lions
Dublin dual star James Madden has signed for the Brisbane Lions in the AFL
He has signed a a two-year contract as a Category B Rookie for the 2019 and 2020 AFL season.
He raised eyebrows last year when he broke the all-time AFL Draft Combine 20 metre sprint record at the European Combine in Dublin last year, running at 2.69 seconds.
He also travelled to Florida to train with the AFL Academy and is relishing the chance to play professional sport.
Madden has played both underage hurling and football for the Dubs in recent years and played for Ballyboden St Enda's in the Dublin SFC earlier this year also.
"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.
Our newest recruit broke the all-time AFL Draft Combine 20 metre sprint record at the European Combine last year!— Brisbane Lions (@brisbanelions) August 14, 2018
Hear what James Madden had to say about joining the Club. pic.twitter.com/fkInUVrcax
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 with the Lions David Noble believes Madden will take to Aussie Rules quickly.
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," he said.
Madden will travel back to Brisbane in November for pre-season training.
In recent years Pearce Hanley (Mayo), Colm Begley (Laois), Cian Hanley (Mayo), Niall McKeever (Antrim) have all lined out for the Lions, while Donegal pair Eoghan Bán Gallagher and Jason McGee spent two weeks on trial at the club last August.