Collingwood development coach Matthew Boyd has explained what aspect Jack Madgen had to work on the most to secure an AFL debut.
Madgen was picked up by the Pies as a category B rookie last November after spending four years in the United States playing college basketball, and since has become a reliable defender for Collingwood’s VFL side.
Madgen, 24, will debut for the Magpies against Sydney tomorrow night, filling a gap in Nathan Buckley's injury-hit defence.
He has made huge strides in a short amount of time to warrant selection to the seniors, but had alot to improve before he could be considered.
“With a basketball background, he’s got some athletic traits which have translated pretty well to footy at this stage,” Boyd told SEN Mornings.
“He’s a good size, he’s got no issue with playing physical and getting body on his opponent.
“I think that was one of the things he needed to work on initially is just to be physical and aggressive.
“Other things in his game like his kicking and his handball efficiency, he’s worked so hard on all aspects of his game.
“He’s knocked the door down so hard the match committee had to open it.”
Boyd further discussed the impact of US recruit Mason Cox, who has developed significantly since making the switch from basketball to AFL.
While both players have made the switch from basketball, Madgen was further along in the development process due to the fact that he grew up playing junior footy.
“I think Mason (Cox) having gone through that experience with transferring from one sport to another with minimal experience helped," Boyd said.
“The thing is Jack (Madgen) played footy as a junior, so he knew the game, he knew how to play and knew all the intricacies of footy whereas Mason, it was a foreign game to him when he came into the system.
“So it’s a little bit different but I think it’s good Jack’s had someone like Mason to talk to about the difficulties Mason faced coming into the game.”
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