Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Leuenberger a Bomber: Lions opt against matching Dons' offer for free agent

Michael Whiting  October 15, 2015 4:38 PM

Get excited by: Matthew Leuenberger Essendon set to secure big Lion ruckman as a free agent

ESSENDON has secured ruckman Matthew Leuenberger after the Brisbane Lions declined to match the Dons' offer on the unrestricted free agent.

Leuenberger, 27, nominated the Bombers as his club of preference on Monday, and has now got there on a three-year deal.

After the Lions were told they would receive an end-of-second-round compensation pick (provisionally No.39) for the big man, they flirted with matching the Bombers' offer to force a trade negotiation, but ultimately declined.

New Essendon coach John Worsfold said he was excited by Leuenberger's addition.

"Matthew provides us with a really strong and agile ruck option, he has more than 100 games of experience, so we’re really pleased he’s signed with the club," Worsfold said.

Leuenberger has played 108 games in an injury-interrupted nine seasons, and managed 14 in 2015, largely as second fiddle to preferred ruckman Stefan Martin.

Lions CEO Greg Swann said he was happy for Leuenberger to find a new home, but was still disappointed with the compensation pick.

"He can't play on here in the position he wants to play, so we were happy for him to explore other options - although we still would have expected better compensation for him," Swann said.

"At the end of the day we want to make sure things work out for him, given his service to the club, and we wish him all the best in the future."

The 203cm West Australian also weighed up an offer from the Sydney Swans, but decided on the Bombers.

He will likely take the No.1 ruck mantle in front of Tom Bellchambers, who struggled for much of 2015 with injury.

Leuenberger was taken by the Lions with pick No.4 in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft.