Montagna in March 2017
|Full name||Leigh Montagna|
|Date of birth||2 November 1983|
|Original team(s)||Northern Knights (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 37, 2001 National Draft, St Kilda|
|Height||178 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||78 kg (172 lb)|
|Current club||St Kilda|
|2002–||St Kilda||271 (150)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2010.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Leigh Montagna (born 2 November 1983) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Montagna was recruited as the number 37 draft pick in the 2001 AFL Draft. He is a midfielder with St Kilda Football Club.
Montagna is an elite midfielder who is known for his kicking ability, leadership and high level of consistency. He is a two time All Australian and finished Top 3 in St Kilda's Best & Fairest on five occasions. A Rising Star nominee in 2003, he enjoyed his breakthrough season in 2006, missing only one match and gathering over 400 disposals for the season. Into his 16th AFL season, Montagna, an AFLPA board member, has been a part of the St Kilda FC leadership group since 2008 and is one of the most respected players in the game.
2004 season: Wizard Home Loans Cup
2006 would be Montagna's breakthrough season. Cementing 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 5 in tackles and hard ball gets. He averaged over 19 disposals per game and was rewarded with an 8th place finish in the club best and fairest.
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. Montagna played consistently throughout the season and continued the improvement he had shown in 2006. 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. 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. Montagna was rewarded for his efforts with a third-place finish in St Kilda's 2007 best and fairest.
2008 season: NAB Cup
2008 saw Montagna continue to become a vital cog in the St Kilda midfield that got beaten in the Preliminary final by eventual Premier Hawthorn. He finished the year as the leading kick getter in the competition and second for Inside 50's. Montagna was rewarded by being selected for the first time to represent Australia against Ireland in the International Rules series
Montagna averaged 27.9 disposals and 6.25 tackles in 2009.
Montagna played in 21 of 22 matches in the 2009 season, notching up his 100th AFL game in round 2, in a year in which St Kilda qualified in first position for the finals series. He played in the 2009 AFL Grand Final in which St Kilda were defeated by 12 points. Montagna's season saw him become one of the best players in the competition. A brownlow medal contender, a 3rd place finish in a tight St Kilda Best and Fairest count and All Australian for the first time, 2009 was clearly his best season to date.
Montagna played 26 games in 2010, including the infamous draw and replay Grand finals, averaging 28.6 possessions. He finished second in St Kilda's Best & 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 AFL Brownlow medal, and capped off the year by representing Australia in the International rules series for the second time.
The departure of Ross Lyon at the end of the 2011 season resulted in the beginning a complete rebuild for the Saints 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. He played 102 out of 110 games in that period averaging 26.4 disposals, finishing no lower than 4th 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.
- Statistics are correct to the end of round 9, 2016
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Montagna was involved in a police investigation of a woman's claims of being raped by St Kilda player, Stephen Milne at Montagna's house in 2004. No allegations were made against Montagna. Charges against Milne were not laid by the police at that time; In 2014 Montagna married his girlfriend of four years, Erinn Byrne.
- "AFL 2004 Wizard Cup Grand Final - Geelong v St Kilda". Slattery Media Group. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "AFL Tables: Leigh Montagna". AFL Tables. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- Lane, Samantha (6 October 2007). "Riewoldt wins record fourth gong". Real Footy. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- "St Kilda wins NAB cup". The Age. Melbourne. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "Saints are NAB Cup Champions in 2008". Jeld-Wen. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "2009 Season Scores and Results - Ladder". AFL Tables. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- "Leigh Montagna player profile".
- "Leigh Montagna". AFL Tables. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
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