Matt Eagles has been named The Recruit for 2016 and signed an AFL contract with the Brisbane Lions during an action-packed live final of the hit FOX8 AFL reality series.
The 26-year-old from Adelaide narrowly beat Daniel Cox (21 from Broome, WA) to take out this life-changing prize. Jordan Treloar(23 from Macleod, VIC) followed in third position.
Matt said: “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. The opportunity to join a club on a level playing field is second to none, and a great chance for a player like myself.”
Mick Malthouse, The Recruit Head Coach, 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.”
Hosted by returning guest Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald live from Melbourne’s Crown, tonight’s episode saw club representatives from each of the 18 AFL teams vote on the final three players on a 3-2-1 basis.
After Matt was named the 2016 winner ofThe Recruit , a special NAB AFL draft was held in which each of the clubs had the option to nominate him as a draft selection. After pitches from Brisbane Lions, Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney, Matt chose to sign with Brisbane Lions.
Matt will now commence training with Brisbane Lions Football Club as a Category B rookie.