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From reality TV to AFL: 'Recruit' to debut

Paddy decision, Cotch watch, Recruit plays Footy Feed with Matt Thompson and Dinny Navaratnam

FROM reality television to the AFL, Matt Eagles will debut for Brisbane on Sunday.

Eagles was named in the initial 26-man squad to play Collingwood at the Gabba, and on Friday was given the news he would debut.

At 28 years of age, it's a remarkable story for the winner of season two of Foxtel's reality program 'The Recruit'.

Eagles spent 2017 at the Lions playing in the NEAFL, turning heads with an incredible Grand Final display against Sydney, which earned himself another contract.

The dreadlocked defender has started 2018 in scintillating form and Fagan said it was just too hard to ignore.

"The dream has come true for him. It's come true because he's worked hard," Fagan said.

Eagles, who stands 200cm and weighs 99kg, travelled to all parts of Australia through his 20s, working and playing football, ending up at Yeronga in Brisbane before trying his luck on The Recruit.

After selecting him as a ruck/forward, Fagan said it was far from smooth sailing for Eagles.

"If you had have been at the first training session he turned up to, which was my first training session with the Lions, the number of times he got falconed and missed kicks and missed handballs, I was thinking 'this is going to test me out a little bit'.

"From that day forward he's continued to improve in all elements; skill, game understanding, diet, fitness, the lot.

"He's come a long, long way. It's a great story."


Fagan told Eagles the good news in a team meeting on Friday morning, saying "you can't ignore performances".

"I think deep inside, at the age of 28 and the journey he's been on in his life, it was a mighty big moment for him this morning.

"It'll be even bigger on Sunday when he takes the field."

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