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Playing Career
1993-1996 – Brisbane Bears
1997-2006 – Brisbane Lions

Games
227 (44 Bears, 183 Lions)

Goals
194 (58 Bears, 136 Lions)

Playing Honours
Lions Best & Fairest – 1999
Lions Premiership Player – 2001, 2002, 2003
Lions Leading Goal Kicker – 1997-98
All Australian – 1999, 2002-03
Lions Life Member
Lions Team of the Decade (1997-2006)
Australian IR Representative

 

 

Justin Leppitsch's stunning AFL career didn't always go as planned.

As an 18 year-old, he underwent knee surgery which effectively ravaged his first two seasons with the Bears, before returning to show his wares as a strong-marking, fast-leading, and flamboyant full-forward.

But a somewhat reluctant move to defence in 1999 became the making of the Leppitsch legacy.

His attacking style of play quickly revolutionised the centre half-back position and became a blueprint for how the role has since developed in the modern game.

He maintained his trademark flair, even as a close-checking backman, and would often still be swung forward on occasion as the team required.

Leppitsch's transformation earned him the 1999 Club Champion award and regular selections among the AFL greats in the All Australian team positioned at centre half-back.

But more importantly, the move directly corresponded with the Lions' emergence as a dominant force in the competition and helped the Club towards three consecutive Premierships from 2001-2003.

Even among the array of stars that lit up his era at the Lions, Leppitsch could well have proven the most valuable of them all.