Former #22 Matthew Leuenberger

http://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-premiership/matthew-leuenberger-says-john-worsfold-was-key-to-him-moving-to-essendon/story-e6frf3e3-1227643792516

"RUCKMAN Matthew Leuenberger knew what he wanted. Whether a then-coachless Essendon could give it to him remained a mystery.

Bombers officials had given their best sales pitch to Leuenberger, who had struggled to find time in the Brisbane Lions ruck last season, but they may as well have been wasting their time.

Leuenberger refused to make a decision on any potential move until Essendon — a club on the back of yet another trying season — appointed a coach, having parted ways with James Hird in August.

Enter John Worsfold, the deal-sealer.

“The recruitment and sales pitch was being done by (chief executive) Xavier (Campbell) and (list manager) Adrian Dodoro,’’ Leuenberger told the Herald Sun.

“So for me, it was like, ‘Well, that’s all well and good, but I’d like to know who the coach is going to be’.”

In Brisbane, Leuenberger played second fiddle in the ruck to Stefan Martin, admitting he “didn’t really know how to play” as a forward.

He was dropped by coach Justin Leppitsch, who also criticised his leadership abilities.

With a young family — partner Jess is aspiring to study medicine and son Luca is about to turn one — Leuenberger said he had more to think about than just himself, and being “wanted by the coach” was vital if he was to uproot from Brisbane.

“It’s all well and good for the recruiters to want you, but if the coach doesn’t want you (it’s pointless),” he said.

“I wanted to be more wanted by the coach than more wanted by the football manager. That’s how I had it in my head.”

The 27-year-old had also received strong interest from Sydney, but a ring-around to mates who had been coached by the man touted as hot favourite to get the Essendon job affirmed his choice.

“The media was putting it up that Woosha (Worsfold) was going to get the job, so I went and spoke to a couple of mates of mine who have been coached by him,” Leuenberger said.

“They told me everything about him. It sounded exactly like what I was after.”

Despite the issues the Bombers have faced, with 12 players still awaiting a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Leuenberger said his decision was met with little resistance from those in the game who understood his plight and desire for game time.

Leuenberger, who played 14 games last season, is positive things are about to change — both for him and the Bombers.

“I get to play in front of 90,000 people in the fifth round of the home-and-away season (Anzac Day), having come from a club that wouldn’t be recognised as a powerhouse,” he said.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Brisbane, but it’s not Essendon.

“I’m optimistic and there’s talent on the list. I think if we get some direction, which I think we’ll get from John, then things could turn.”

*Couldn’t find a Leuey thread, so merge if approriate

Excellent. We need him working with the young mids as much as possible for the remainder of the season. Not sure about who goes out. Is Michael an effective target forward or do both him and Smack go out? Reckon we want to keep Joe out of the ruck and might be prudent to make sure Loony has a chop out option.

Confirmed will play this weekend which is great.. who goes out?

SMACK

Confirmed will play this weekend which is great… who goes out?

How many etihad game Looney achilles handle

People will see what he brings to the team once we have heppell and myers etc back next year.

One thing he needs to do is take contested marks around the ground. I cant recall him taking one.

I waaaaaant youuuuu, to want me

I particularly enjoy the little backhander to Brisbane’s status.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Brisbane, but it’s not Essendon." lol

“I get to play in front of 90,000 people in the fifth round of the home-and-away season (Anzac Day), having come from a club that wouldn’t be recognised as a powerhouse,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of time for Brisbane, but it’s not Essendon

our type of bloke.

I particularly enjoy the little backhander to Brisbane's status.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Brisbane, but it’s not Essendon." lol

Yeah that made me smile.

I like the cut of his jib.

I’ll have a Luen Burger with fries thanks.

I like the Smack-Burger ruck combo.

could this guy be the most important player on our list ? excluding Tippa that is.

If he can help us to be pro-active rather than reactive at stoppages, he will be worth it. I hope he can offer us more around the ground than he has done in the past for Brissy, he admitted that he isn’t a natural forward so perhaps being behind Martin for the #1 ruck mantle affected that.

Ticks a few boxes. He went out and did his own research on the new coach. He was impressed, now it is his turn to impress the coach. Puts more pressure on TBC in the ruck, and that can only be a good thing.

I like the Smack-Burger ruck combo.

Is a smack burger better than a hot shot?

“I’ve got a lot of time for Brisbane, but it’s not Essendon.

Doesn’t matter how big a basket case Essendon is, it’s still Essendon.

I like the Smack-Burger ruck combo.

Is a smack burger better than a hot shot?

To Be Determined…

could this guy be the most important player on our list ? excluding Tippa that is.

Not sure about that but he’s another reason to feel like the puzzle’s being put back together after getting stomped on repeatedly. I think Ryder and the missing draft picks are our biggest loss but to all of a sudden have a couple of big peak age rucks, both capable and experienced, throw in Smack hopefully being groomed for something of a Roughead role, and then Gach coming up in a couple of years and the big man brigade seems pretty strong. Of course consistently getting them on the park is another thing but it seems like that’s another factor in rucks peaking later, getting there physically and learning how to stay there so you have that combination of presence and guile.

So Ambrose starting ruck and Pears resting forward?