DOB: 17 July 1974
From: Carlton/Old Xaverians, Selection #10 1996 Pre-Season Draft
Number: 36 (1996-2003)
Originally selected by Carlton with pick 13 in the 1993 Pre-Season Draft he was axed by the Blues after playing 23 reserves matches but none in the seniors and stepped out of the game for a year.
After moving to Brisbane to study and Leoncelli returned to Victoria in 1995 to play for Koo-Wee-Rup, but was instead convinced the cross to amateur side Old Xaverians by their coach Barry Richardson.
There he played in a premiership side, won the best and fairest and played for Victoria. His timing was just right, with Richardson joining Melbourne as Chairman of Selectors during the season and the side's '95 campaign being derailed by injuries to a number of midfielders. Richardson eventually talked Neale Balme into giving Leoncelli a chance and he was selcted in the pre-season draft for the second time.
Despite suffering a broken right ankle in a 1996 Practice Match against Essendon Leoncelli made his debut late in that season and instantly impressed, he finished 3rd in the Best and Fairest in 1997 despite only playing twelve games due to stress fractures, and was 5th in 1998. In 1999 he represented Victoria
Kicked the goal which put Melbourne in front in the 2000 Qualifying Final against Carlton. That season he had also been named Deputy Vice Captain.
In the Round 2, 2001 game against Adelaide he kicked the winning goal with three seconds left.
In July 2003 Leoncelli announced that he was retiring effective immediately, as an ankle injury he had carried for two months would mean he wasn't able to complete the season. He 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".
A qualified account he 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.
Joined the board as a director in 2007/08, was and one of just three directors to survive the change to the Jim Stynes administration along with Karen Hayes and Peter Spargo. He retired at the end of 2010.
Leoncelli was later involved in tax consultancy and residential development projects.
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$1500 fine|