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Simon Madden

Simon Madden Nationality: Irish
Date/place of birth: 1 May 1988/Dublin
Position: Right Back
Height: 5ft9
Nickname: Maddy
Honours: None
Ex-clubs: Tymon Bawn, Kilnamanagh, Cherry Orchard, Shelbourne, Leeds United, Shamrock Rovers, Darlington
Joined: Thursday 22 July 2010
Joined from: Darlington
Signed by: Ian Foster
Club debut: v Galway United (A), 25 July 2010
First club goal: None

Simon Madden (born: 1 May 1988) is a right-back from Dublin who began his career in football with his local club Tymon Bawn before he moved to Kilnamanagh and later Cherry Orchard and Shelbourne. It was during his time with Shels that the promising young defender was chosen for the Dublin & District Schoolboys’ League (DDSL) squad that competed in the Kennedy Cup, after which he got offered trials with a number of UK clubs. In 2004, Madden travelled to Leeds United where he “enjoyed” his experience, and shortly after he signed for the Elland Road club at the age of 16. He admitted that he initially felt homesick but soon settled in. Madden did a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) for two years before penning a two-year professional contract.

Speaking to the DFC Magazine, Simon admitted: “After turning pro, it was a tough time because there was a change of manager at the club. As long as I kept my head down I was alright. The reserve team football was hard and it got tougher in the second year – that’s when a new manager came in again.”Before that new manager arrived, Madden made his first-team debut during his second season as a professional when he played the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat by Bury in the Football League Trophy in November 2007. However, the following April he was released by Leeds. “Dennis Wise was there and I played a first-team game under him in the cup,” the 22-year-old said. “But he left, I think it was around Christmas, and Gary McAllister came in. He started bringing in his own players and he was releasing players to do that, and that’s when he told me to go. If Wise had stayed maybe I would have progressed more because I played that one game under him at home and I did really well. If he had stayed I probably would have got more chances and maybe got a new contract, so it was just unlucky.”

Madden then returned home and just under three months signed for Shamrock Rovers after training with the squad for two weeks under Pat Scully. The defender made his League of Ireland debut against Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on 21 July 2008, a game which ended 1-1. Towards the end of that season, Scully departed and was replaced on a temporary basis by Jim Crawford, before Michael O’Neill took permanent charge for the 2009 campaign. Madden, who earned three Republic of Ireland U21 caps in 2008 against Austria, Bulgaria and Portugal, was handed a new one-year contract by O’Neill but as the season progressed he lost his place in the side. “I started the season in the team but because we lost a few games, maybe because I was one of the younger players, I got dropped and I found it hard to get back in through the season,” Simon said.

“I didn’t really get a chance,” he added. “That was the main reason I left, because I wasn’t playing and he started bringing his own players in. I played in the reserve team but I knew no matter how well I played in the A-Championship I was never going to get into the first team with the way it was going, so I had to look for a new club.” In January 2010, an opportunity arose to join struggling English League Two club Darlington, managed by former Dundalk player Steve Staunton. “Tadhg Purcell had gone over to Darlington, with Gary Dempsey, and he was talking to Steve Staunton about a right-back and Tadhg had my number so he gave me a bell to see if I was interested in coming over,” Madden explained. “Stan was assistant manager at Leeds when McAllister came in so he knew about me. He asked me did I want to come over and I said I’d give it a go because I might not get the chance to go over to England again. I went over for six months and it was really good.”

Madden made his debut shortly after in a 3-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra before starting his first game at home to Northampton Town three days later. However, at the time of signing, Darlington were already well adrift at the bottom of the Football League and they eventually were relegated from the Football League after finishing at the foot of the table. Staunton was relieved of his duties towards the end of the season and was replaced by Simon Daly, who Madden said “started playing the older players that Stan sort of just took out of the squad. They came back in and a few of us found ourselves out of the team. When I signed, Stan said it was just until the end of the season but then when the new manager came in he released most of the players. I decided to come home because I missed family and friends.”

Simon returned to the League of Ireland when he joined Dundalk on 22 July, the morning of the home leg of the club’s UEFA Europa League tie with PFC Levski Sofia, becoming Ian Foster’s second signing of the transfer window as he followed Steven Lennon in the door at Oriel Park. Three days later he made his debut when starting at left-back against Galway United at Terryland Park. The young defender made a huge impression after arriving at the club and he went on to make the right-back position his own, replacing regular No2 Shaun Kelly. In total, he made 16 appearances in all competitions, and his performances earned him a new one-year deal which he agreed with the club on 28 October, just over 24 hours before Dundalk’s final game of the 2010 season.

Following the departure of club captain Liam Burns, Simon was handed the armband by Foster in 2011 pre-season and kept hold of it, with his ultra-consistent performances showing exactly why he was given the responsibility. He went on to become the only one of the squad to play every minute of competitive action during the year. Overall, Madden played every second of the club’s 66 competitive games after signing, reaching the half century away to Derry City on 22 July. He made his 50th league appearance for the club in a 1-0 home win over Drogheda United in the Louth Derby on 21 October.

2011 Apps (Starts) Goals
Overall 50 (50) 0
League 36 (36) 0
Setanta Sports Cup 7 (7) 0
FAI Cup 5 (5) 0
League Cup 1 (1) 0
Leinster Senior Cup 1 (1) 0
All-Time Apps (Starts) Goals
Overall 66 (66) 0
League 51 (51) 0
Setanta Sports Cup 7 (7) 0
FAI Cup 5 (5) 0
League Cup 2 (2) 0
Leinster Senior Cup 1 (1) 0

Profile last updated: End of 2011 Season

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