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Andrew McLeod

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Andrew McLeod

Andrew McLeod
Personal information
Full name Andrew Luke McLeod
Nickname(s) Bunji, Macca
Date of birth (1976-08-04) 4 August 1976
Place of birth Darwin, Northern Territory
Original team(s) Port Adelaide Magpies
Draft Traded from Fremantle, 1994 AFL Draft
Height/Weight 181 cm / 82 kg
Position(s) Half Back, Midfield
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1995-2010 Adelaide 340 (275)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1997
2008
The Allies
Dream Team
1 (0)
1 (0)
International team honours
2000,2001 & 2005(c) Australia 6 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of Round 17, 2010 season.
Career highlights

Andrew Luke McLeod (born 4 August 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer for the Adelaide Football Club. He is the games record holder for Adelaide, having played 340 games.

McLeod is considered one of the greatest Indigenous footballers of all time,[1] one of the greatest of the modern era[2] and is often considered by many as the greatest player of the Adelaide Football Club.[3] Mcleod won two premierships for the Adelaide Football Club in 1997 and 1998. He was also awarded the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground in the 1997 and 1998 AFL Grand Finals.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • AFL career 2
    • 1995 2.1
    • 1996 2.2
    • 1997 2.3
    • 1998 2.4
    • 2000 2.5
    • 2001 2.6
    • 2002 to 2004 2.7
    • 2005 2.8
    • 2006 2.9
    • 2007 2.10
    • 2008 2.11
    • 2009 2.12
    • 2010 final season and retirements 2.13
    • 2011 2.14
  • Playing Statistics 3
  • Honours and achievements 4
  • Controversies 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7
  • Further reading 8

Early life

McLeod was born in Darwin, Northern Territory. His mother is Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) while his father Jock McLeod is of Scottish descent.He moved to Kathrine when he was little just before Cyclone Tracy hit but then moved back. Andrew McLeod played both rugby league and Australian football as a junior.[4] He played senior football with the Darwin Football Club in the Northern Territory Football League a club where his father has played over 200 games.[5]

Moving from Darwin to Adelaide in South Australia McLeod played with the Port Adelaide Football Club in the SANFL in 1994 where he became known as an exciting young forward with electrifying pace. McLeod capped off a solid debut year for Port Adelaide with a Premiership medallion, bagging two goals in Port's 37-point win over Woodville-West Torrens in the 1994 SANFL Grand Final.

AFL career

In the 1994 offseason period the right to recruit McLeod was traded by Fremantle Football Club to the Adelaide Crows in return for their promising forward Chris Groom in what many now consider to be one of the most lopsided trades in Australian rules football history.[6]

In an interview with Australian men's magazine Alpha[7] in September 2005, McLeod would later reveal that he refused to play for Fremantle after feeling insulted and belittled by the newly appointed Fremantle coach Gerard Neesham who had not actually seen him play before.[8]

1995

In his first year with the Adelaide Crows, McLeod began his AFL career quietly, appearing tentative and nervous during pre-season games. However, in a round 9 match against Hawthorn at Football Park, a confident McLeod began to emerge.

In the dying seconds of the game with Adelaide trailing by four points, McLeod raced into an open forward line while being hotly pursued by Hawk Ray Jencke. Swooping onto the loose ball, he calmly laid it on his foot under pressure, dribbling it through for a miraculous goal from a tight angle at the Northern End of the ground to give his side a remarkable 2-point victory after they had trailed by 34 points at half-time. The Crows were able to avenge their worst ever home loss in history the year before (Round 9 1994 by 97 points to Hawthorn).

McLeod would later be named as an AFL rising star nominee late in the 1995 season after a string of consistent performances in a struggling Adelaide side which only managed a 9-13 record. He was also awarded Adelaide's Emerging Talent Award.

1996

In his second season with the Adelaide Crows, McLeod played in 19 matches and kicked 20 goals.

1997

After two tumultuous years under Robert Shaw, legendary footballer Malcolm Blight took over as coach of Adelaide. McLeod lost 10 kg in preparation for a big season. The Crows would begin the season slowly as they adjusted to Blight's long-kicking and direct style of football before claiming a finals berth for the first time since 1993.

In the preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs, McLeod, who had been playing primarily as a forward or half-back flanker was placed into the midfield in the second half by Blight in an effort to spark the Crows side who trailed by 31 points at half-time. It would be the first time in McLeod's career that he would play in the middle and in a thrilling contest, McLeod and the Crows would win the match by two points to reach the Grand Final for the first time in the club's history.

In the Grand Final against St Kilda, McLeod would take his first significant step in his journey towards joining the game's elite. Accumulating 31 disposals, he was judged best on ground against the Saints, winning the prestigious Norm Smith Medal while helping his team win the AFL premiership. This was followed shortly thereafter with a gold jacket when he was named as the Crows best and fairest for the 1997 season.

1998

Having caught the eye of football followers with his magical feats in the 1997 finals, McLeod would continue to dazzle crowds with his pace and agility in 1998 before being named in the All-Australian team for the first time in his career.[9]

In a preliminary final rematch against the Bulldogs, McLeod would kick a career-high seven goals while being opposed to Tony Liberatore who was reputed to be the most ferocious tagger in the game at the time. In the following game, against Grand Final favourites, the Kangaroos, the Crows would win by 35 points with McLeod emulating his feats a year earlier. Gathering 30 disposals and winning back-to-back Norm Smith Medals, McLeod became the first player to win two Norm Smith Medals since Gary Ayres in 1986 and 1988.

2000

McLeod had an outstanding season averaging 24 disposals per game and kicking 28 goals. He made the All-Australian team, finished second in Adelaide's Best and Fairest and polled 20 Brownlow Medal votes finishing third behind Shane Woewodin and runner up Scott West.

2001

McLeod had perhaps the finest season of his career in 2001, controversially being named runner-up in the Brownlow Medal Count. Having been made a permanent fixture in the Crows midfield by coach Gary Ayres, McLeod averaged a career-best 24.7 disposals.[10] He would win the Leigh Matthews Trophy to be recognised as the Most Valuable Player in the league as voted by his peers in the AFL Players Association as well as his second best and fairest award from the club.

McLeod, however would be denied the AFL's greatest individual honour in the 2001 Brownlow Medal. Trailing by two votes in the last round to Jason Akermanis of the Brisbane Lions, many believed he would receive votes after amassing a best-afield 37 disposals against Fremantle in the final round. Instead, the umpires decided not to award McLeod with any votes for the game leaving him stunned as he looked on while the medal was presented to the flamboyant Akermanis. To this day it is considered by the majority of the South Australian football public to be one of the worst Brownlow voting decisions ever made; many remain adamant that the medal went home with the wrong player that night. Jason Akermanis said "I stole the Brownlow from Andrew McLeod" as McLeod was a raging favourite and won the majority of media awards for the year.[11]

2002 to 2004

Round 4 2002, McLeod was reported for the first and only time in his career for a late charge on Essendon's Matthew Lloyd. He received a one match ban for the incident.

2005

In 2005, under coach Neil Craig, McLeod made a return to the half-back line to provide his side with run and drive from defense using his sublime skills. McLeod polled 11 votes in the 2005 Brownlow Medal.

In October, McLeod was named co-captain of the Australian International rules football team against Ireland. In what became a somewhat spiteful match, Australia would win comfortably while McLeod was named best player and awarded the Jim Stynes Medal.[9]

2006

McLeod challenging a mark in a game against Port Adelaide

After a year under Neil Craig's system, McLeod would return to some of his best form, leading to his 4th All-Australian selection.[9]

Against the Essendon Football Club in round 10 at AAMI Stadium, McLeod played his 250th AFL game, where he tallied 18 disposals while soaring for a spectacular mark in a 138-point demolition of the Bombers.[12]

For much of the season, however, McLeod played with a bursa in his left foot. After round 16, the decision was made for him to undergo surgery to remove the bursa, an operation expected to keep him out for a few weeks.

McLeod made a relatively earlier than expected return to the side in round 19. However, by round 21, after a disappointing loss to Port Adelaide, his foot was heavily infected and the club announced that he would require further surgery along with the disappointing news that he would more than likely miss the rest of the season and Finals.[13]

Despite rating himself just a "two out of ten" chance to return for the finals,[14] McLeod made a surprise return to the side in the preliminary final against the West Coast Eagles. After a promising first half, however, McLeod and the Crows were swamped by the West Coast midfield in the second half to eventually lose by ten points. McLeod polled seven votes in the 2006 Brownlow Medal.

2007

Prior to the start of the AFL 2007 season, McLeod won the Polly Farmer Medal after being the best for the Indigenous All-Stars in a 50-point loss to Essendon. McLeod, the side's captain, kicked two goals to be his team's leading goal-kicker.

McLeod played most of 2007 again as a half-back flanker, sweeping up loose balls and creating his trademark run out of defense with his smooth skills. McLeod, however, was well held in his final game of the season, finishing with just 12 disposals after being heavily tagged by Hawthorn's Richard Vandenberg in Adelaide's elimination final loss to the Hawks.

Nevertheless, McLeod had a fine season, his average of 23.9 disposals was his highest since finishing runner-up for the Brownlow Medal in 2001. This was duly acknowledged when he was announced as captain and half-back flank of the 2007 All-Australian team.[15] McLeod polled 15 votes in the 2007 Brownlow Medal and won the club's Best and Fairest award.

2008

Four weeks after returning from a stint on the sidelines due to knee surgery, McLeod celebrated his 300-game milestone with a 63-point victory over Richmond in round 19. Andrew McLeod is just the second Aboriginal player to reach 300 games. After the season's conclusion, however, McLeod's knee flared up again, forcing him to have surgery over the off-season.

2009

On his return from injury, McLeod captained the Indigenous All-Stars in the 2009 pre-season.[16] McLeod continued to perform consistently for the Crows, and in round 9 (fittingly, it was Indigenous Round), he played his 313th game, breaking the club games record held by former teammate and good friend Mark Ricciuto.[17]

2010 final season and retirements

McLeod began the 2010 season healthy and in decent form. However, in a round 11 match against Fremantle he re-injured his troubled right knee, ultimately keeping him sidelined for a month.[18] He returned on 16 July 2010 in a round 16 match against Geelong in which Adelaide won by 11 points. This would ultimately be McLeod's last game of AFL football as his knee continued to have problems.[19] On 23 August 2010, McLeod announced his retirement from AFL football.[20][21] Andrew McLeod's retirement announcement:

"To the supporters of the Adelaide Football Club, I thank you for sharing my journey and making it a most memorable one. To all my coaches, I am eternally grateful for passing on your knowledge to make me a better player and a person, And finally to my teammates, past and present, without you guys, nothing I have achieved in footy would have been made possible if it weren’t for all of you. Thanks for making it the most amazing journey, one I can only dream of"[22]

Following his retirement he has been compared with Jason Akermanis and Ben Cousins as three greats of the AFL all retiring in 2010.[9]

2011

In 2011, McLeod signed a part-time contract with the Northern Territory Football Club in the inaugural North East Australian Football League season, and played a total of eight games for the Thunder, including the finals series. McLeod was a part of the Thunder's Northern Conference and NEAFL premiership teams.[23]

Playing Statistics

[24]
Denotes seasons in which McLeod won an AFL Premiership
Led the league for the Season only*
Led the league after finals only*
Led the league after Season and Finals*

*10 games required to be eligible.

Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1995 Adelaide 23 15 17 12 101 61 162 20 18 1.1 0.8 6.7 4.1 10.8 1.3 1.2
1996 Adelaide 23 19 20 12 110 84 194 31 22 1.1 0.6 5.8 4.4 10.2 1.6 1.2
1997 Adelaide 23 26 10 8 287 151 438 96 51 0.4 0.3 11.0 5.8 16.8 3.7 2.0
1998 Adelaide 23 19 30 20 232 101 333 67 42 1.6 1.1 12.2 5.3 17.5 3.5 2.2
1999 Adelaide 23 22 21 13 281 127 408 82 35 1.0 0.6 12.8 5.8 18.5 3.7 1.6
2000 Adelaide 23 22 28 14 371 153 524 80 49 1.3 0.6 16.9 7.0 23.8 3.6 2.2
2001 Adelaide 23 23 29 27 408 160 568 71 63 1.3 1.2 17.7 7.0 24.7 3.1 2.7
2002 Adelaide 23 23 25 22 322 190 512 76 74 1.1 1.0 14.0 8.3 22.3 3.3 3.2
2003 Adelaide 23 24 29 14 327 172 499 45 65 1.2 0.6 13.6 7.2 20.8 1.9 2.7
2004 Adelaide 23 22 13 12 312 160 472 61 67 0.6 0.5 14.2 7.3 21.5 2.8 3.0
2005 Adelaide 23 25 13 13 301 155 456 73 51 0.5 0.5 12.0 6.2 18.2 2.9 2.0
2006 Adelaide 23 20 6 6 287 159 446 93 51 0.3 0.3 14.4 8.0 22.3 4.7 2.6
2007 Adelaide 23 23 6 5 373 177 550 81 40 0.3 0.2 16.2 7.7 23.9 3.5 1.7
2008 Adelaide 23 21 9 5 297 129 426 69 34 0.4 0.2 14.1 6.1 20.3 3.3 1.6
2009 Adelaide 23 24 10 10 310 212 522 76 60 0.4 0.4 12.9 8.8 21.8 3.2 1.7
2010 Adelaide 23 12 9 3 121 93 214 36 30 0.8 0.3 10.1 7.8 17.8 3.0 2.5
Career 340 275 196 4440 2284 6724 1057 752 0.8 0.6 13.1 6.7 19.8 3.1 2.2

Honours and achievements

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
1995
1996
1997 1
1998 10
1999 7
2000 20
2001 21
2002 16
2003 18
2004 2
2005 11
2006 7
2007 15
2008 4
2009 7
2010 3
Total 142
Key:
Green / Bold = Won

Controversies

In 2005, Andrew and former friend tennis player Lleyton Hewitt had a much publicised dispute over the use of footage shot at Aboriginal sacred sites in a DVD Hewitt was to release.[25]

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Folau will deliver by GREY MORRIS for Northern Territory News 3 June 2010
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Alpha magazine, September 2005
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Adelaide demolish hapless Bombers
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Andrew McLeod's player profile at AFL Tables
  25. ^

External links

  • Andrew McLeod's statistics from AFL Tables

Further reading

Awards
Preceded by
Glenn Archer
Norm Smith Medallist
1997–1998
Succeeded by
Shannon Grant
Preceded by
Anthony Koutoufides
Leigh Matthews Trophy
2001
Succeeded by
Luke Darcy, Michael Voss
Preceded by
Matthew Liptak
Simon Goodwin
Simon Goodwin
Adelaide Best and Fairest winner
1997
2001
2007
Succeeded by
Mark Ricciuto
Ben Hart
Nathan Bock
Preceded by
Brad Johnson
All-Australian Team Captain
2007
Succeeded by
Chris Judd






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