VFL Player Focus: Leonardo Lombard (Gold Coast)

GOLD Coast Suns Academy player Leonardo Lombard picked up where he left off in his first game of VFL for 2024, tallying 28 disposals in Gold Coast’s loss to Richmond.

Playing in the midfield for the first half and high half-forward for the second, Lombard impacted with a good balance of inside and outside work.

Lombard has already got some high-quality accolades under his name and was part of the Gold Coast side that won the 2023 VFL Premiership.

We put the young gun’s Round 1 showing under the Player Focus microscope, dissecting his game quarter-by-quarter.

>> Preseason Q&A: Leonardo Lombard

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Leonardo Lombard

Height: 178cm

Weight: -

DOB: 05-10-2006


2024 VFL: Round 1
Gold Coast 7.11 (53) def. by Richmond 11.10 (76)

#54 Leonardo Lombard (Gold Coast)
Stats: 28 disposals, 8 marks, 3 clearances, 6 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s
CBAs: 13/22 (match): Q1 6/8 | Q2 2/4 | Q3 5/8 | Q4 0/2


Lombard went into the centre stoppages to start the match but didn’t get first hands to the footy at the source. Instead, he was well-disciplined with his around-the-ground stoppage craft, holding his width and providing an outlet option, where he was clean by hand.

His running efforts up the ground saw him provide some transitional presence and pressure around loose ball contests. Lombard pushed to the outside frequently opening up the ground with ball in hand, but did lose focus of where his opponent was sneaking up on him at times.

His work ethic kept bringing him back to the contest, even after being taken down in a tackle, he was caught up with the play 30 metres ahead of him just 10 seconds later.


Lombard’s disposal efficiency lifted early term two, helped by his neat kicks down the line to move the ball with pace. Lombard’s pressure on the ball handler was part of the little things he was doing to stay impactful around the ground.

There were moments of class where he was able to go and extract the ball from the contest, spin around, and confuse his opponent to generate his own space. Lombard’s spacial awareness improved with the willingness to change the angles on his kicking and open the ground up.

With the intense pressure his opponent provided him, he was still able to generate his run on the outside and find some breathing space.


Lombard started in the centre before moving to a high half-forward role that challenged him through points in the second half. Lombard instinctively had a hunt towards the footy as it moved inside 50, but did on occasion let his opponent get the better of him.

There was a moment of worry when Lombard went up for a marking contest and came down limping on his right foot. He was back on his feet shortly after providing run on the outside to generate an inside 50 entry.


Lombard continued his high half-forward role into the fourth quarter. His work ethic continued to standout, creating impact with his quick hands moving through the contests.

Lombard was positioning well to present as an option for downfield kicks, however, lacked some polish with his own kicking inside 50.

His tackling pressure continued to intensify his defensive presence, which helped him stay locked in after a struggle to impact with his efficiency.


Lombard’s power and skill inside the stoppages still translates at VFL level as a 17-year-old. He was challenged with a different type of opportunity, having to restrict himself for extracting the ball and holding his width well. His ability to stay light on his toes let him explode on the outside and use his run effectively in transition.

At times he was a bit slow to react to opponent pressure behind him, but he was composed and still hunted the ball back on a turnover. His role at half forward changed his complexity of movement as he had to balance inside and outside movement, and found his comfort pushing wide to act as a leading option.

He’ll continue to be an effective user at VFL level, playing a demanding yet concise role. He’ll be able to play an explosive style when the Gold Coast Suns Academy play their invitational games in the Talent League.

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