DOB: 17 July 1974
From: Xavier College/Carlton/Old Xaverians, Selection #10 1996 Pre-Season Draft
Number: 36 (1996-2003)
Originally selected by Carlton as a defender with pick #13 in the 1993 Pre-Season Draft, Leoncellli was axed by the Blues after 23 Reserves games. He moved to Brisbane to study, and on returning to Victoria in 1995 intended to play with Koo-Wee-Rup, before Barry Richardson recruited him to Old Xaverians. Leoncelli played in a premiership, won a best and fairest, and represented Victoria. With Richardson joining Melbourne as Chairman of Selectors during the season, and the 1995 Demon midfield decimated by injuries, Richardson talked Neale Balme into giving Leoncelli a chance. For the second time he was added to an AFL list via the pre-season draft.
After a broken right ankle in a practice match, Leoncelli debuted in late 1996, initially used as a tagger. In 1997 he finished third in the Best and Fairest despite only playing 12 games due to stress fractures. He was fifth in the award in 1998, and represented Victoria in 1999.
Leoncelli was named Melbourne's Deputy Vice Captain in 2000, and kicked an import goal to capture the lead in the 2000 Qualifying Final against Carlton. He played in that season's losing Grand Final side.
In Round 2, 2001, Leoncelli kicked the winning goal against Adelaide with just three seconds left. He only played 18 games, his lowest tally since 1997. After recovering to 24 games the next season, 2003 was another injury-ravaged campaign. In July he announced his retirement, as an ankle injury he'd carried for two months meant he couldn't complete the season. Leoncelli said: "Given the course of the season and how much work we have to do from here, the club really needs the people with the hunger and the passion, and I am on the downside of that".
Leoncelli served as Vice-President of the AFL Players Association. After giving AFL football away Leoncelli travelled to Europe, and upon his return settled in Sydney where he became player-coach of the Balmain Tigers of the Sydney AFL competition. He joined Melbourne's board in 2007, and was one of just three directors to survive the transition to the Jim Stynes administration. He retired from the board in 2010 and was late involved in both tax consultancy and residential development projects.
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$1500 fine|
Australian Rules Football profile
Australian Rules Football Wiki profile
Demonwiki image gallery
melbfc.com.au profile - 2001
Melbourne FC profile - 2009