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The 25-year-old defender has rejoined the Hoops after a four year absence, leaving the Brandywell club after his contract expired

Shamrock Rovers have announced the signing of defender Simon Madden from Derry City.

The 25-year-old previously played for the Hoops from 2008 to 2009 before moving to England to try his luck at Darlington. He returned to Ireland to join Dundalk in 2010, and then moved to Derry, where he lifted the FAI Cup.

Despite helping Derry qualify for Europe, Madden has returned to Tallaght Stadium, and is looking forward to helping the Hoops challenge for the title. "It is great to be back at Shamrock Rovers," Madden told the club's official website. "I enjoyed my time away from the club, but it is good to be back now and I can’t wait to get started again here.

"I’ve been away from home for a while now and all the travelling is hard on the body, so I think I will have the chance to really do well here.

“I was a totally different player the last time I was at the club, I am now much more experienced and my overall game is better. The years I’ve spent away have improved me as a player and I am more than ready to push on; I’m looking forward to playing in a great stadium, with great fans again, and to mounting a serious title challenge with Shamrock Rovers next year.”

Madden is Trevor Croly's first signing ahead of the 2014 Airtricity Premier Division season, as the Hoops look to mount a comeback after the disappointment of missing out on Europe.