#41 Nick Madden (GWS Academy selection, 2022 Rookie Draft)

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Giant Strides

Moderator
Nov 23, 2015
9,312
13,029
AFL Club
GWS
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Position: Ruck
Height: 204cm
Weight: 112kg
D.O.B: 17-05-2004
Clubs: GWS Academy, NSW-ACT, Allies

SNAPSHOT: “A physically imposing ruck with ample craft who plays within his limits, but can also hit the scoreboard.”

STRENGTHS:
  • Contested work
  • Follow-up
  • Ruck craft
  • Size
  • Strength

IMPROVEMENTS:
  • Speed
  • Versatility
Madden's game mostly revolves around his ability to impose himself at the ruck contest, setting somewhat of a tone for his team at the source. Particularly against those in his age bracket, the 18-year-old is near-impossible to match physically and would likely have made a few opponents think twice when fighting for possession. The bigman averaged 24.8 hitouts in the NAB League and 16 during the National Championships, while also finding a groove for 27 in his second and final VFL outing. Hardly wavering in that department from game to game, he has proven to be a reliable ruck who simply gets his hand to the ball.

Away from the contest, Madden holds his own but plays within his limits. He doesn't mind getting his hands dirty on the follow-up and works into to the right spots around the ground. In particular, he stations well behind the ball when his side attacks and can help lock it in with aerial contests.

Handballing is usually Madden's MO, though he could certainly become more expansive by foot. His kick efficiency in Allies colours sat at 33 per cent, even if he only went by foot 21 per cent of the time. Part of that is where he finds the ball and his contested acumen, with many kicks being clearances and evened out by the neatness of his hands.

In the way of further improvement, athleticism is arguably the key area for Madden to grow. He clocked up a 3.28-second 20m sprint time at the National Combine, which is indicative of the way he plays. His strengths lie on the inside, but building that running power will allow him to become more impactful and versatile.

 

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