Leigh Montagna

Leigh Montagna (born 2 November 1983) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A two time All-Australian, Montagna finished his career 7th on the all time games list for St.Kilda FC on 287 games and was top three in St Kilda's best and fairest, the Trevor Barker Award on five occasions.

Leigh Montagna
Leigh Montagna 2017.2.jpg
Montagna in June 2017
Personal information
Full name Leigh Montagna
Nickname(s) Joey
Date of birth (1983-11-02) 2 November 1983 (age 36)
Original team(s) Northern Knights (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 37, 2001 national draft
Height 174 (5'8") cm
Weight 78 kg (172 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2002–2017 St Kilda 287 (155)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2008–2015 Australia 5 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2017.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2010.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

AFL careerEdit

2002–2006Edit

Montagna was recruited from the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup under 18's as the number 37 draft pick in round 2 of the 2001 AFL draft by St Kilda. He played his first game wearing number 28 for St Kilda in round 2 of the 2002 AFL season against the Collingwood Football Club.

Montagna played in St Kilda's 2004 Wizard Home Loans Cup winning side. St Kilda defeated Adelaide, Richmond and Essendon on the way to the grand final.[1]

Montagna was a part of St Kilda setting a then club record for consecutive wins between round 1 and round 10 in the 2004 AFL season. Montagna did not play in the finals series and St Kilda eventually fell six points short on the scoreboard in the preliminary final after qualifying for the finals series in third position.

Montagna's 50th AFL match for St Kilda was in round 21 of the 2006 AFL season, a 50 point win against the Western Bulldogs. 2006 was a breakthrough season.[citation needed] Consolidating himself in the senior team, he went on to play 22 games for the season, leading the club in inside-50's, running bounces, and was top five in tackles and hard-ball gets. He averaged over 19 disposals per game.

2007–2011Edit

In round 8, 2007, in a match against Hawthorn, Montagna suffered a broken jaw but only missed one week with the injury. Although 2007 was the first since 2003 that St Kilda had missed out on playing in the finals series, it was the season that saw Montagna become a top line AFL footballer.[citation needed] Montagna played consistently throughout the season and continued the improvement he had shown in 2006.[citation needed] He played an accountable and hard running role through St Kilda's midfield, averaging 24 disposals and 3 tackles per game and kicking 10 goals for the year.[2] Some of Montagna's highlights for the year included best on ground performances against the Kangaroos, Richmond and Hawthorn in the second half of the year.[citation needed] Montagna was rewarded for his efforts with a third-place finish in St Kilda's 2007 best and fairest.[3]

Montagna played in St Kilda's 2008 NAB Cup winning side–the club's third pre-season cup win. St Kilda defeated Richmond, Geelong and Essendon on the way to the grand final.[4][5] 2008 saw Montagna continue to become vital in the St Kilda's midfield.[citation needed] St Kilda qualified fourth for the finals series and were defeated in the preliminary final by eventual premiers, Hawthorn. He finished the year with the most kicks in the competition and second for inside-50's. His season was rewarded by being selected for the first time to represent Australia against Ireland in the International Rules series.

Montagna's 100th game for St Kilda was in round 2 of the 2009 AFL season against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, a win by 32 points. He played in 21 of 22 matches in the 2009 home and away season where St Kilda won the minor premiership and qualified in first position for the finals series. A new club record of 19 consecutive wins between rounds 1 and 19 was set, the equal third best in league history. The club completed its best ever home and away season with 20 wins and 2 losses.[6] He played in the 2009 AFL Grand Final in which St Kilda lost by 12 points. Montagna averaged 27.9 disposals and 6.25 tackles in 2009 and was named in the 2009 All-Australian team for the first time.[2] His season saw him become one of the best players in the competition.[citation needed] Considered a pre-Brownlow Medal contender, a third placed finish in a tight St Kilda best and fairest count and All-Australian for the first time in 2009.

Montagna played 26 games in 2010, including the infamous draw and replay grand finals, averaging 28.6 possessions.[7] He finished second in St Kilda's best and fairest award (Trevor Barker Medal), was selected in the AFL's All-Australian team for the second year in a row, finished in the top 10 in the Brownlow medal, and capped off the year by representing Australia in the International rules series for the second time.

Leigh Montagna played his 150th game against Richmond in a draw in round 2 of 2011 AFL season at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

2012–2017Edit

The departure of Ross Lyon at the end of the 2011 season resulted in the beginning of a complete rebuild for St Kilda and despite the retirements and movement of many of his senior teammates, Montagna remained a model of consistency and a key leader through the rebuild.[citation needed] He played 102 out of 110 games in that period averaging 26.4 disposals, finishing no lower than fourth in the club best and fairest and representing Australia on two more occasions.

2016 saw Montagna play across half back for the first time in his career where he excelled in that role averaging 29.2 disposals per game and helped lead the club to within percentage of playing finals for the first time since 2011.[citation needed]

At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Montagna announced his retirement from the AFL.[8] In February 2019, he was appointed as a Melbourne-based opposition analyst for Fremantle Football Club.[9]

StatisticsEdit

[10]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
2002 St Kilda 28 1 0 0 3 1 4 3 2 0.0 0.0 3.0 1.0 4.0 3.0 2.0
2003 St Kilda 28 12 12 3 73 52 125 30 18 1.0 0.3 6.1 4.3 10.4 2.5 1.5
2004 St Kilda 28 9 9 2 58 43 101 28 25 1.0 0.2 6.4 4.8 11.2 3.1 2.8
2005 St Kilda 11 8 6 3 78 43 121 35 19 0.8 0.4 9.8 5.4 15.1 4.4 2.4
2006 St Kilda 11 22 12 14 270 151 421 106 81 0.5 0.6 12.3 6.9 19.1 4.8 3.7
2007 St Kilda 11 21 10 12 339 163 502 108 75 0.5 0.6 16.1 7.8 23.9 5.1 3.6
2008 St Kilda 11 25 12 11 388 179 567 118 82 0.5 0.4 15.5 7.2 22.7 4.7 3.3
2009 St Kilda 11 24 8 19 399 271 670 123 150 0.3 0.8 16.6 11.3 27.9 5.1 6.3
2010 St Kilda 11 26 18 17 429 316 745 111 126 0.7 0.7 16.5 12.2 28.7 4.3 4.8
2011 St Kilda 11 21 13 10 335 171 506 88 94 0.6 0.5 16.0 8.1 24.1 4.2 4.5
2012 St Kilda 11 22 13 8 324 194 518 100 104 0.6 0.4 14.7 8.8 23.5 4.5 4.7
2013 St Kilda 11 21 16 8 395 226 621 101 82 0.8 0.4 18.8 10.8 29.6 4.8 3.9
2014 St Kilda 11 20 9 5 310 160 470 79 80 0.5 0.3 15.5 8.0 23.5 4.0 4.0
2015 St Kilda 11 17 8 9 277 209 486 85 82 0.5 0.5 16.3 12.3 28.6 5.0 4.8
2016 St Kilda 11 22 4 4 339 249 588 135 60 0.2 0.2 15.4 11.3 26.7 6.1 2.7
2017 St Kilda 11 16 5 1 235 165 400 96 59 0.3 0.1 14.7 10.3 25.0 6.0 3.7
Career 287 155 126 4252 2593 6845 1346 1139 0.5 0.4 14.8 9.0 23.9 4.7 4.0

PersonalEdit

In 2014 Montagna married his girlfriend of six years, Erinn Byrne.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "AFL 2004 Wizard Cup Grand Final - Geelong v St Kilda". Slattery Media Group. 13 March 2004. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b "AFL Tables: Leigh Montagna". AFL Tables. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  3. ^ Lane, Samantha (6 October 2007). "Riewoldt wins record fourth gong". Real Footy. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  4. ^ "St Kilda wins NAB cup". The Age. Melbourne. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Saints are NAB Cup Champions in 2008". Jeld-Wen. 8 March 2008. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  6. ^ "2009 Season Scores and Results - Ladder". AFL Tables. 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Leigh Montagna player profile".
  8. ^ Schmook, Nathan (30 August 2017). "After 16 seasons, veteran Saint hands in his halo". AFL.com.au. Telstra. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  9. ^ https://www.fremantlefc.com.au/news/2019-02-22/montagna-on-board-at-freo
  10. ^ "Leigh Montagna". AFL Tables. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  11. ^ Clementine Ford [@clementine_ford] (3 February 2014). "Oh, isn't that nice! Leigh Montagna's had a fairytale wedding day! Hope his bride has read Night Games" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External linksEdit