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Lion to stay loyal: Leuenberger not going anywhere

Michael Whiting  April 29, 2013 7:00 AM

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Matthew Leuenberger won't be leaving the Lions at the end of the season

Whenever it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen any time soon, then it doesn't, but it'll happen
MATTHEW Leuenberger has uttered the words every Brisbane Lions fan wants to hear – he's not going anywhere.

The 24-year-old ruckman is out of contract at the end of the season and recent media speculation has swirled around interest from cashed-up expansion club Greater Western Sydney.

But Leuenberger said despite not starting negotiations with the Lions at this stage, he was determined to stay in Brisbane.

"I've got no intentions of leaving. I love it here," Leuenberger told AFL.com.au after the win against Melbourne on Sunday.

"I think good things are about to come. I haven't hung around here for this long to leave as soon as it's starting to come good, so I've got no intentions of leaving."

Leuenberger is in his seventh season at the Gabba after being taken as the fourth pick of the 2006 NAB AFL Draft.

After missing all-but three games in 2012 with an Achilles injury, the 204cm ruckman said he wanted to get some more matches under his belt before beginning contract talks.

"I heard about that GWS thing or whatever it was. What can you say? I haven't even spoken to Brisbane yet," he said.

"I've only come off three games last year so I don't think we're going to be talking contracts any time soon.

"People are going to make what they make of it. I've got no intentions to hold the club at ransom or anything like that.

"Whenever it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen any time soon, then it doesn't, but it'll happen. I'm sure it will and when it does, so be it."

In just four games this season, Leuenberger has shown why he is one of the Lions' most valuable assets.

Not only is his work at stoppages first-rate, but he went forward against Melbourne on Sunday and kicked three goals.

He is the prototype modern day ruckman who is athletic around the ground and can also be a threat in the forward 50.

"I'm having a ball playing, really enjoying it. It's just great to be back," he said.

Coach Michael Voss has no doubt the West Australian is part of the Lions' long-term future, saying he and teenager Billy Longer should be the ruck combination for years to come.

"We see our future forward line consisting of having Billy Longer and Matthew Leuenberger in the same team and going in tandem with one another and creating some havoc," Voss said.

Michael Whiting covers Brisbane Lions news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_mikewhiting