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The Derry City full back was the most influential player on the pitch during an important 2-1 victory over Bohemians for the title contenders at the Brandywell


Position Defender
Age 25
Nationality Ireland
Appearances 18
Goals 0
Cards 1
While the goals of Rory Patterson have been stealing the headlines for high-flying Derry City, the performances of right-back Simon Madden have been equally central to the Candystripes' success this campaign.

The 25-year-old was at his destructive best on Friday evening as the Foylesiders maintained the pressure on leaders St Patrick's Athletic with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Bohemians at the Brandywell. The marauding full-back showed why he is widely considered to be the best right-back in the country with an eye-catching performance against the Gypsies.

With Patterson, the league's top scorer, absent through suspension, Madden assumed centre stage as he set up both goals to ensure Derry recorded their third successive Airtricity Premier Division victory. It took just eight minutes for the former Republic of Ireland youth international to escape the attention of the bewildered Ciaran Nangle to cross for Patrick McEleney to sweep home before a brilliant piece of individual skill created the space to put the ball on a plate for Michael Rafter after the break.

The Dublin-born flyer has played every minute of the League of Ireland season to date and has been one of Derry's most consistent performers since making the move from Dundalk last season. And, his contribution has not gone unnoticed by his manager, Declan Devine, who is abundantly aware of the defender's quality. 

Madden has had spells in England with Leeds United and most recently Darlington before making a big impression at Dundalk under Ian Foster. His performances at Oriel Park earned him a move to the Brandywell last season, where he helped the club lift the FAI Cup. It seemed as if the highly-rated defender would move on at the end of 2012 with several clubs chasing his signature but he opted to stay with Declan Devine's side citing European football as a reason for his decision.

With a challenging few weeks ahead for Derry on both domestic and European fronts, it will be key that their influential players are in form and on recent evidence, Madden is certainly at the top of his game.