AustralianFootball.com Celebrating the history of the great Australian game
1 October 1975 (age 47)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 177d
Last game: 30y 218d
Height and weight
Height: 191 cm
Weight: 97 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 10,382nd player to appear, 408th most games played, 426th most goals kickedBrisbane: 108th player to appear, 12th most games played, 11th most goals kicked
After overcoming the not inconsiderable handicap of a knee reconstruction early in his career, Justin Leppitsch went on to become a highly recognisable, and extremely formidable player for Brisbane for well over a decade. Originally from Berwick, he made his AFL debut for the then Bears in 1993, and by the time of his enforced retirement owing to injury in 2006 he had amassed a total of 227 senior games for the club.
Extremely quick on the lead, strong overhead, and an accurate kick, Leppitsch played most of his early football as a key position forward, topping his club's goal kicking list with 50 goals in 1997, and 26 the following year. When Leigh Matthews arrived at Brisbane as coach in 1999 he converted Leppitsch into a hard-hitting rebound defender who, at his peak, had few peers in the modern game.
A joint winner, along with Jason Akermanis, of his club's best and fairest award in 1999, he went on to play in the Lions' premiership victories of 2001-2-3, as well as in the losing Grand Final side of 2004. The high universal respect in which he was held was indicated by his inclusion in the AFL All Australian teams of 1999, 2002 and 2003. After injury problems in 2006 restricted him to just four appearances in the first 10 weeks of the season Leppitsch announced his retirement as a player at the age of 30.
Following his retirement as a player, Leppitsch served as an assistant coach at Brisbane and then Richmond, before taking over the reins as the Lions' senior coach from ex-teammate Michael Voss, who was sacked in late 2013. His three seasons at the helm were difficult ones, with Brisbane finishing 15th with seven wins in 2014, and second-last in both 2015 with four wins and 2016 with one win fewer. Sacked at the end of the 2016 season he returned to Richmond as an assistant coach and played a key role in helping the Tigers attain the 2017 premiership.
Author - John Devaney, with updates by Andrew Gigacz