SCONE Thoroughbreds junior Jock Madden is hoping to experience the euphoria of running onto the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) again – but, next time, on league’s biggest stage.
The talented teenager, who now attends the All Saints College St Mary’s Campus at Maitland, led the NSW under-18 team to a thrilling 16-10 victory over Queensland last Wednesday evening in the State of Origin curtain-raiser.
And, while he loved every bit of the occasion, he’s keen to replicate that feat with the senior Blues in years to come.
“It was unbelievable,” Madden said.
“We were locked up at 10-all until the final four minutes, so it went down to the wire.
“However, just running onto the MCG was a surreal moment.
“You don’t get many opportunities to play at a venue like that.
“The match was very fast; in fact, one of the hardest games I’ve played in.
“My role, as five-eighth, is to lead the side around the park.
“And, I was happy with my performance.
“I’d love to experience it again [in the future] at the highest level.
“It’s what you play league for.”
Ironically, one of Madden’s former representative coaches is Brad Fittler, the man who plotted the Maroons downfall in game one and, fingers crossed, the rest of the 2018 series.
“Freddy’s a great guy,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this time, we didn’t get to hang with the NSW squad.
“But, our mentor Mark O’Meley did a terrific job, too.”
After representing his state with the under-16s, and picking up the SG Ball NSWRL player of the year award in 2017, Madden is turning his attention to the Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg outfit these days.
He made his under-20 debut with the competition pacesetters a few weeks ago.
“We beat the [Canterbury] Bulldogs 18-16 on the bell.
“I guess I’m getting used to close matches; it would be nice to score some big wins though,” he added with a laugh.
“My goal is to stay in that team for the rest of the season.
“I’m also taking the field for NSW CCC (Combined Catholic Colleges) at the Australian Championships at Kingscliff next month.”
2018 shapes as a huge year for Madden, who’s managing his promising league career while preparing to sit for the HSC.
“St Mary’s have been good with me,” he admitted.
“They understand my footballing commitments.
“Plus, I have a very supportive family.
“My youngster sister is in Year 8 at St Peter’s Campus (Maitland), so my parents moved here to be closer to both of us.
“Although I left Scone at the start of 2017, I return ‘home’ to see other family members and my close mates in town.
“I try to get there whenever I can.”