JUSTIN LEPPITSCH was recruited by the Brisbane Bears ( now Brisbane Lions ) at pick No. 4 in the 1992 AFL Draft. He had been playing for the Dandenong Stingrays Football Club in the Victorian TAC Cup. Leppitsch debuted for the Brisbane Bears as a 17 Year Old in 1993, however sufferered a serious knee injury, requiring a complete knee reconstruction. This injury kept Leppitsch out of Football for 15 Months, and he was still regaining his confidence and honing his game to a higher level during Seasons 1995 and 1996. He was to play 227 Games, kicking 194 Goals for Brisbane until his retirement as a Player on 5 June 2006.
Leppitsch had always performed well as a Goal Kicking Forward, and he was a fast leader to the ball and a very strong overhead mark. These attributes were to the fore during the 1997 and 1998 Seasons when he won Brisbane’s Leading Goalkicker Awards. However, when Champion Coach Leigh Matthews joined Brisbane as Senior Coach in 1999, he immmediately switched Leppitsch to the role as Centre Half Back. This positional change was a master stroke, with Leppitsch thwarting many opposition Club forward thrusts , with uncanny reading of the play to intercept and gain crucial possessions for his Team. He showed great dash, long accurate kicking and spearing handpasses, to instigate many Brisbane Lions scoring movements.
The 1999 AFL Season highlighted the talents of Justin Leppitsch, with victory in the Brisbane Lions Best and Fairest Player Award ( Merrett- Murray Medal ) and selection in the All Australian Team, underpinning his dominance. Leigh Matthews had also had a huge influence on many other players at the Brisbane Lions, which saw Justin Leppitsch and his Team Mates explode into a Golden Era for the Club, in which they won a treble of Afl Premierships in Seasons 2001, 2002 and 2003. During this period, Leppitsch also gained further recognition with selection in the All Australian Teams of 2002 and 2003. With his strong attack on the ball, and total commitment, Leppitsch had settled into a dominant role in the key Full Back position later in his career. During his last season or two, he had battled a chronic hamstring-related Back Injury, which eventually brought his outstanding career to a premature end, in mid-season, on 5 June 2006.
Justin Leppitsch was appointed to an Assistant Coach role at the Brisbane Lions for Season 2007, and held this role until signed by the Richmond Tigers to a similar Role with their Club for Season 2010. He was highly thought of by the Tigers, where he had a huge influence in developing the Clubs younger list, to the point where they are now a highly competitive force. Following the unexpected sacking of Michael Voss, Justin Leppitsch has been appointed Senior Coach of the Brisbane Lions for the 2014 AFL Season.
Justin Leppitsch was honoured by the Brisbane Lions with induction to the Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame in 2012. He is a favourite Son with a solid Assistant Coaching background, clear and concise tactical nouse, and inherits a young Team that has made great strides during 2013, however has been impacted by regular inconsistency. Leppitsch has an inate ability to promote a strong Team ethic, and a more steely Brisbane Lions outfit will be challenging for a Finals Spot a lot sonner than many AFL pundits would expect.