Shamrock Rovers boss Trevor Croly has made his first signing ahead of the 2014 season, with Simon Madden putting pen to paper for the Hoops.

The 25-year-old defender last night signed the deal which will see him back in Tallaght after a four-year absence.

Madden first signed for Shamrock Rovers in the summer of 2008 and left at the end of the 2009 season. During that time he had spells at Darlington, Dundalk and Derry City.

On his return to the Hoops, Madden said he is “much improved as a player” and is looking forward to helping Shamrock Rovers challenge for the Premier Division title next season.

Madden said: “It is great to be back at Shamrock Rovers. 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 was named on the Airtricity League Team of the Season for his consistent performaces at right back for Derry City throughout the 2013 campaign.