Dublin footballer James Madden will make the move to Australia in November after signing a contract with AFL side, the Brisbane Lions.
Madden, who has played minor and U20s with Dublin, impressed at the European AFL combine in UCD where he broke the 20m sprint record in 2.69 seconds.
The 18-year-old then travelled to Florida where he trained with the AFL academy. He has since signed a two-year contract as a Category B Rookie for the 2019 and 2020 AFL season.
“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.
I knew it had been coming for a while now and it’s great to finally be here,” he 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.”
Madden will spend the next two weeks in Brisbane before travelling back home to Dublin. In November he will travel back to Australia to begin preseason preparations.