Jack’s journey back to Adelaide


Jack Madgen is back.

Set to be Adelaide’s SANFL marquee player whilst performing a development coaching role in 2023, Madgen has been on a sporting journey from the village of Williamstown in the southern Barossa Valley, around the world and back.

In 2010, Madgen, the youngest of Gene and Deb Madgen’s four children, was playing senior colts and A-grade football for Barossa District while juggling ABA Basketball (now called NBL1) for the Eastern Mavericks.

He was the joint winner of the Barracker – Co-op Senior Colts Footballer of the Year, before the rules surrounding playing college basketball in the US forced Jack to stop playing our national football code for six months.

The following four years he played college basketball for Delta State University in Mississippi, where he met his now wife Heidi.

On return to Australia, Madgen played in the National Basketball League with the Cairns Taipans in the 2016–17 season.

During 2017, Madgen played for the Mount Gambier Pioneers, out of the Ice House in the South East Australian Basketball League.

In November 2017, he was recruited as a Category B rookie by Collingwood and played as a half-back in the inaugural 2018 AFLX tournament in Adelaide.

He made his AFL debut against the Sydney Swans in Round 20, standing superstar Lance Franklin, who famously suggested Madgen “should return to his basketball roots” during the game.

After playing 19 games under Pies coach Nathan Buckley in 2021, Madgen played the opening nine games of the 2022 campaign, before being in injured in a marking contest.

Needing to play 10 games for the year, to trigger a contract extension in the cut-throat world of AFL football, that ninth game proved to be last for Jack in the Collingwood colours.

“I had been tossing up between a job at St Kilda playing with Sandringham in the VFL and the Crows opportunity,” Madgen told Argent’s Assessment last week.

“Getting to work on the development side during the week is also an exciting opportunity that I was looking for.”

Madgen also confirmed he received an offer from SANFL club Central District, amongst a number of clubs.

“Getting to work on the development side during the week is also an exciting opportunity that I was looking for.”

Adelaide SANFL Marquee Player Jack Madgen

Jack Madgen (right) rucking for Barossa District in 2010. Picture – Peter Argent

Adelaide’s SANFL coach Michael Godden is thrilled to have Madgen on board.

“He has proven at AFL level that he can play as a key forward, but ideally he’ll have a role as a ley back leading our defence,” Godden continued.

“Jack Hombsch is our defensive coach and with Jack being from Williamstown, having a couple of country lads, who played junior basketball together for SA Country is exciting.

“I’m looking forward to working with them and having a big season next year.”

When Adelaide tackles North Adelaide in 2023, it will be an exciting adventure for the Madgen/Harvey/Rendell clan.

There is every chance Madgen could line up at centre half-back on his cousin, 2018 Roosters premiership player and 150-game veteran, Mitch Harvey.

Madgen’s mother Deb is the older sister of three handy SANFL footballers in Matthew (who also had a strong career with Fitzroy in the VFL), Tim and Stephen Rendell, while young sister Melinda, is Mitch and Luke Harvey’s mother.

Younger sibling Luke Harvey is in the 45-player squad has been named for SANFL’s 2023 Torrens University U18 Talent Hub.

Uncle Matthew played 79 SANFL league games for the West Torrens Eagles, Uncle Stephen played 44 games in the 1980s and Uncle Tim managed 15, before also being recruited to Fitzroy.

Jack Madgen in his Crows guernsey. Picture – AFC Media

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