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Matthew Leuenberger

Last played for Essendon Bombers in 2018
Games: 137     Born: June 7, 1988     Origin: East Perth
Playing Height: 202cm     Playing Weight: 105kg     Position: Ruck
Last Drafted: Round 1, Pick #4 2006 National Draft by Brisbane Lions
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Matthew Leuenberger Biography

Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Matthew Leuenberger retires despite being offered a new deal by Essendon.

The 30-year-old played only two senior games in 2018 after Tom Bellchambers took on the role as No.1 big man.

"It has been a thrill to experience the likes of Anzac Day and watch the group grow to a point where anything is possible next season," Leuenberger said.

"I felt like the flame is now burning too low to compete every day at training let alone game day, and it would have been selfish of me to show up for another season."

Tuesday, 19 September 2017
Matthew Leuenberger will undergo shoulder surgery and be on a restricted program at the start of the Bombers' pre-season later in the November when they return from their breaks.
Friday, 2 June 2017
Essendon coach John Worsfold has thrown the heat on Matthew Leuenberger to win back his place as Essendon's No.1 ruckman after he was overlooked for selection this week.

The former Brisbane Lion has been the Bombers' first-choice ruckman in 2017 but missed last week's loss to Richmond with illness and was replaced by Tom Bellchambers.

"Obviously Tommy had an interrupted pre-season, so 'Leuey' was in there through being available and up and going and it was up to Tommy to stay in really good form and wait for opportunities, which he did," Worsfold said.

"Now the pressure's back on Leuey to win the spot back."

Friday, 4 March 2016
Matthew Leuenberger is likely to be fit for the opening round of the season, but the Bombers could explore the option of bringing the ruckman back through the VFL after a compromised pre-season.

"Our aim is to still have him ready for round one. That'll be a line-ball call come that week," Bombers coach John Worsfold said.

"My guess is he'll be available to play, but it'll be at what level he'll be able to contribute with his pre-season."

Saturday, 27 February 2016
Matthew Leuenberger is expected to be fit for round one despite an Achilles injury interrupting his first pre-season with the Bombers.

"We expect he'll be right for round one. It was disappointing his Achilles got sore over the Christmas break, but the bonus was he got in a good volume of training in pre-Christmas," Bombers coach John Worsfold said.

"We've lightened off in terms of how much footy training he's done but he's running really well and progressing well, and now we're just getting him ready to play."

Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Matthew Leuenberger says he is up for the battle to take the No.1 ruck position at Essendon, having crossed to the Bombers for more opportunities in the key role.

"I want to come in and fight for the spot. At the moment I've been doing a bit of work against Tommy Bellchambers, who's fit and healthy," Leuenberger said.

"I like to have the mentality that him and I are going to battle it out and see what happens from there."

Thursday, 15 October 2015
Essendon has secured ruckman Matthew Leuenberger after the Brisbane Lions declined to match the Dons' offer on the unrestricted free agent.

"Matthew provides us with a really strong and agile ruck option, he has more than 100 games of experience, so were really pleased hes signed with the club," Bombers coach John Worsfold said.

Leuenberger has played 108 games in an injury-interrupted nine seasons, and managed 14 in 2015, largely as second fiddle to preferred ruckman Stefan Martin.

Lions CEO Greg Swann said he was happy for Leuenberger to find a new home, but was still disappointed with the compensation pick.

"He can't play on here in the position he wants to play, so we were happy for him to explore other options - although we still would have expected better compensation for him," Swann said.

"At the end of the day we want to make sure things work out for him, given his service to the club, and we wish him all the best in the future."

Tuesday, 13 October 2015
The Lions announce that they have been informed by the AFL that their compensation for losing Matthew Leuenberger as a free agent would be pick No.39 in this year's NAB AFL Draft.

Lions CEO Greg Swann said the club was disappointed by the AFLs decision and would consider matching Essendon's offer for the ruckman.

"He was a first-round draft pick and at his best a strong contender for All Australian selection, so we would expect better than what we have been offered as compensation," Swann said.

"It's a matter of fairness and consistency. Given what has happened in recent years in relation to compensation picks, we would have thought that we'd have received something in the second round rather than at the end of it."

Monday, 5 October 2015
New Essendon coach John Worsfold says he is interested in recruiting Matthew Leuenberger to the Bombers.

Leuenberger is a restricted free agent and is weighing up whether to join the Bombers or the Sydney Swans in this month's trade period.

"We see him as a really exciting addition to the Essendon footy club," Worsfold said.

"We'll certainly be showing him how keen we are and how much value he'll add to our club going forward.

"I look forward to having a chat to him. He's a young man, he's a very, very good footballer and he'll fit in wonderfully."

Sunday, 31 May 2015
It has taken nine years, but Matthew Leuenberger will finally play in his 100th game this week against St Kilda at the Gabba.

"It's been a long run for him to get to 100 games but it's a great testament to his ability to stick with it," Lions coach Justin Leppitsch said.

"The perseverance is the thing, particularly when you've had a lot of injuries in your career, it can be a frustrating time.

"We're just hoping his second hundred (games) can fly by because unfortunately his first hundred haven't.

"This year he's been relatively injury-free and hopefully he can have a big second part of his career."

Friday, 8 May 2015
Matthew Leuenberger returns for his first game since round two after being named to face Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Monday, 30 March 2015
Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch says he is looking forward to Stefan Martin and Matthew Leuenberger working together to provide a dangerous ruck combo for the Lions in 2015.

"As long as they're fit and healthy we'll have that combination. I think it can be a real weapon for us," Leppitsch said.

"I was unsure how it would go but they work together really well, they're really good mates, they communicate well, which has made it easier.

"They work it themselves really well, they often come with recommendations going into games, who should start forward.

"I think that's important, that they embrace the roles to try and maximise our potential ruck dominance we have."

Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Brisbane are yet to open contract talks with prospective free agent Matthew Leuenberger, with both parties content to wait and see if the injury-prone ruckman can return to full fitness and form in 2015.
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Matthew Leuenberger says a modified program this pre-season has him better prepared for the season ahead.

"I've been on a bit of a modified program and train two out of the three sessions and will do a bit of cross training during the other session. But I'm feeling really healthy and raring and ready to go," Leuenberger said.

"Going by history whenever I've done a full pre-season I've sort of broken down, so it's just about getting through it this year, especially coming off an interrupted year last season.

"I've probably missed two out of the past three seasons, so it's just about figuring out a way to get on the park."

Sunday, 14 December 2014
Matthew Leuenberger is taking a 'less is more' approach this pre-season as the Brisbane Lions ruckman tries to beat the injury curse that has plagued his eight-year career.

"It's not clear-cut, but there's a trend there," he said.

"Whenever I have completed full pre-seasons, I tend to fall down in the first four to five rounds, so it's just being smart and managing it, which we're doing."

Thursday, 14 August 2014
The chances of seeing Brisbane Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger again this season appear to be slim, with coach Justin Leppitsch hesitant to unleash him in the final three rounds.

"There's a side of me that thinks 'What's the point?' You only risk injury when you play," Leppitsch said.

"You don't want to bring him back too early just for the sake that you'd like to see him out there.

"It's whether he can get through a game and whether it's the right thing by him."

Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Matthew Leuenberger hits another injury hurdle as he tries to make his way back to senior football.

The Brisbane Lions ruckman was playing his second game at reserves level on Saturday following a 10-week absence with a knee injury, when he picked up an Achilles problem.

It was the same Achilles he tore early in 2012 that cost him most of the season.

Saturday, 12 April 2014
Matthew Leuenberger is subbed out of Brisbane's clash with Port Adelaide with a serious knee injury.

The 25-year-old injured his right knee in the second quarter when he was on his own in Port's forward line.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Matthew Leuenberger and Dayne Zorko ink new deals with the Lions that will keep them at Brisbane until the end of 2015 and 2016 respectively.

"It's a significant show of faith by these young men in the club's directions as well as fantastic news for our members and supporters," Lions general manager of football operations Dean Warren said.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Matthew Leuenberger will miss Brisbane's NAB Cup final against Carlton and is in doubt for round one after struggling to overcome an achilles injury.

"He's had a pretty good run over the pre-season, just had a minor hiccup and we think we'll get him going again Thursday," assistant coach Adrian Fletcher said about Leuenberger's setback.

"It's not serious at all. We've just got to make sure when it's in that area of the body, you've got to make sure you don't have a hiccup."

Thursday, 28 February 2013
Matthew Leuenberger says he wants to emulate the best rucks in the game, like West Coast's Dean Cox, and has been working on being a better forward.

"You look at the best and what they're doing. I pay close attention to them and that's what they're capable of doing," he said.

"I want to take more contested marks and be more of a threat up forward. Late that year (2011) I was starting to get good chemistry with my midfielders and be a threat at the stoppages, and contested marks were starting to come to me."

Thursday, 14 February 2013
Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger took another giant step towards returning to senior action when he finished the club's intra-club hit-out at Coorparoo.

"He's still in that progression of building up towards round one. I think you'll see him NAB [weeks] three and four, not sure if he'll play the first two, but after that you'll see him play a fair bit of game time," Lions vice-captain Tom Rockliff said.

"Knowing the bloke he is, he wants to achieve and be successful. He's going to add something in the midfield and he might be able to drift forward as well. He's eager to go and we're real keen to have him out there."

Friday, 1 February 2013
Matthew Leuenberger completes his first full training session since tearing his achilles last April.

"I thought I was coming back in a short period of time, but as time went on, the date of return kept dragging on and on and kept getting pushed back and back, and mentally that's pretty frustrating," Leuenberger said about his time out of the game.

"You can tolerate it for a couple of weeks and by the end you're starting to question what's going on. It was frustrating and tested me mentally a lot."

Monday, 6 August 2012
Matthew Leuenberger will begin preparations for 2013 after the Lions decided not to risk him for the remainder of 2012.

"Matthew has been slow in his rehabilitation throughout the year, so we will not be taking any risks in trying to bring him back before he's ready," Lions general manager of football operations Dean Warren said.

"While it's obviously disappointing for Matthew, his welfare and long-term fitness is first and foremost. This is the best course of action to ensure that he is fully fit and ready to go in 2013."

Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Brisbane Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger hits the track for the first time since tearing his Achilles tendon.

"We anticipate his return at approximately round 18 or 19," Lions football manager Dean Warren said.

"We're being quite cautious and want to make sure that he is absolutely 100 per cent."

Thursday, 19 April 2012
Matthew Leuenberger's Achilles injury is worse than expected, with the ruckman placed on the long-term injury list.
Monday, 16 April 2012
Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger will miss at least six weeks after injuring his achilles tendon against Fremantle.

"It's obviously very disappointing for Matthew to be on the sidelines for this length of time," Lions football manager Dean Warren said.

"We believe that he is developing into one of the best ruckmen in the competition so he will be a loss for us."

Tuesday, 18 October 2011
The Brisbane Lions say they didn't just recruit Ben Hudson as cover in case No. 1 ruck Matthew Leuenberger is injured.

"When we spoke to Ben we said we clearly need someone who's going to support Matthew Leuenberger," Lions' national talent manager Robb Kerr said.

"But whether he's injured or not, there's an opportunity for Ben to force his way in to the team. Watching him towards the end of the year I thought he was playing some fairly decent footy. Over the course of the season he averaged just shy of 17 possessions."

Thursday, 25 August 2011
Lions midfielder Daniel Rich says the signing of Matthew Leuenberger for another two years augurs well for the club.

"I've always known that he's a star and he will be a star," Rich said.

"It's pretty exciting that he's signed as well and that he's going to be here for years to come and he's on the same page as all us young guys building to the future, and to see him playing so well now is great for the Lions."

Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Brisbane Lion ruckman Matthew Leuenberger has quashed speculation about his future by declaring that he wants to stay put at the club.

"I'm rapt here. I haven't started contract negotiations so I can put that to bed," he said.

"To have the kids coming through like the Reddens, the Richs and the Rockliffs, it's pretty exciting times for me. I really look forward to being able to drive the group forward with those types of guys."

Thursday, 13 August 2009
The Brisbane Lions could have an added ruck option for the finals, as Matthew Leuenberger nears full fitness after recovering from a knee injury.

"There's definitely still a chance I'll play this year. I'm hoping to return round 21 or 22 through the reserves," Leuenberger said.

"My strength and fitness is not really different to what it was before the knee injury so there is really no reason why I can't play any different to what I used to."

Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Recent tests of the Brisbane Lions' player rooms have found no presence of the Staphylococcus caprae infection that affected ruckman Matthew Leuenberger and development coach Craig Brittain after their respective knee operations.
Monday, 22 June 2009
Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss remains hopeful of regaining ruckman Matthew Leuenberger later this year after Jamie Charman was ruled out for the season.

Charman was due to undergo an ankle reconstruction on Monday after battling to overcome the injury he sustained against Collingwood in round four.

Coach Michael Voss said the medical and coaching staff made the decision to have surgery on Friday after Charman failed to respond to treatment.

"He couldn't change direction and he was obviously still having a problem with his ligaments, so it was just too unstable and too risky for him to come back and do some serious damage to himself," Voss said.

"Eventually you've got to make a call and for his own interests we had to make that on Friday, he wasn't making any progression."

Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Brisbane Lions ruckman Mitch Clark has taken up the mantle of number-one after the loss of Jamie Charman and Matthew Leuenberger.

"I'm just enjoying my footy at the moment and enjoying the task and the challenge of going up against the ruckmen, so hopefully I can continue with my form and provide a contest for the team," Clark said.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Brisbane have confirmed No. 1 ruckman Matthew Leuenberger will miss the next 12 weeks after scans revealed a split in the meniscus cartilage in his left knee.
Monday, 13 April 2009
Brisbane Lions ruckman Jamie Charman will return to the side to take on Collingwood at the Gabba on Friday night with the likely exclusion of Matthew Leuenberger due to a knee injury.

The 26-year-old premiership star has been struggling for match fitness but played four quarters for the Lions reserves in their 112-point drubbing of Aspley in the AFLQ on the weekend.

The loss of a player like Brisbane's Matthew Leuenberger for up to three months would usually be shattering for a coach.

However, rookie coach Michael Voss is still finding plenty of positives as he counts down to a rare Friday night Gabba showdown with Collingwood.

Sunday, 12 April 2009
Brisbane Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger faces the prospect of an extended period on the sidelines after injuring his knee at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Leuenberger, 20, limped to the bench in the third minute of the 33-point win over the Sydney Swans and, despite returning to the field to play out the match, will have scans on his left knee on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.

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