26 year old Matt Eagles has signed an AFL contract with Brisbane Lions after winning FOX8 reality series The Recruit.
Last night the young player from Adelaide narrowly beat 21 year old West Australian Daniel Cox in a Live to Air finale hosted by Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald. 23 year old Victorian Jordan Treloar finished third.
“This is a dream come true. I have lived and breathed AFL for years, so to walk away tonight as The Recruit and sign a contract with the Brisbane Lions is just an incredible feeling,” said Eagles. “The opportunity to join a club on a level playing field is second to none, and a great chance for a player like myself.”
Head Coach Mick Malthouse said: “Matt has got aggression and speed, and his marking ability is incredible – he has a great vertical leap. He attacks the ball like a hardened midfielder player, runs all day which gives him every chance to make it at AFL level.
“What is great about Matt is that he fits into a group without demanding attention. He blends in and is quickly absorbed, and that is significant. By joining the Brisbane Lions, he is joining a team that is in the process of getting a new coach where the slate is clean. He can automatically go into that mindset of being judged fresh. I expect him to thrive in the challenges of AFL football.”
Before representatives from all 18 AFL teams, Brisbane Lions, Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney nominated Eagles in a special NAB draft.
He chose to sign with Brisbane Lions, starting as a Category B rookie.
The winner of the first series Johann Wagner spent a year with Port Adelaide before being delisted after one season.