Scottsdale, Ruck Rover, 1969-89
406 games for Scottsdale, 1969-71, 1973-89 (club record)
12 reserves games for Carlton, 1972
Scottsdale captain-coach, 1984-85
Scottsdale NTFA/NTFL premierships, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989
Scottsdale state premiership, 1973
Scottsdale Best and Fairest, 1971, 1981, 1987
W. Orchard Trophy for NTFA best representative player, 1974
Scottsdale ‘Team of the Century’ (half back flank)
A stalwart of the Scottsdale Football Club, Greg Lethborg was a mainstay of the powerhouse Magpies sides of the 1970s and 1980s.
A versatile ruck-rover/half back flanker, Lethborg made his senior debut for Scottsdale in 1968 at the age of 17. The Magpies were in the midst of a golden era that would net the club seven premierships in 14 seasons and by 1971 the 21-year-old Lethborg had well and truly established himself in this fearsome combination, winning Scottsdale’s Best and Fairest award in 1971 and playing in his first of seven senior premierships with the club in the 93-point annihilation of City-South.
On the back of this enormously successful year Lethborg headed across Bass Strait for the 1972 season to try his luck with Carlton. Unfortunately the Blues at the time were one of the VFL’s powerhouse teams, and Lethborg found it difficult to break into the senior side, eventually playing just 12 reserves games before returning home to Tasmania and Scottsdale the following year. It would prove to be an excellent decision as Lethborg returned to a club on the verge of completing one of the most dominant single-season displays in Tasmanian football history. After going virtually untroubled through the home and away rounds – aside from one draw against North Launceston – Lethborg and his Scottsdale teammates swept their way to another NTFA flag, courtesy of an 11-point win over North Launceston. A 59-point victory over Hobart in the state preliminary final followed, setting up a state premiership decider against NWFU powerhouse Cooee, with Scottsdale emerging victorious by 11 points and being hailed by many experts of the time as the finest Tasmanian team in history.
During the next 10 seasons Lethborg was an ever-present member of the Scottsdale defence, and would claim another two Best and Fairest awards in 1981 and 1987. He was also a regular NTFA representative and in 1974 was awarded the A.W. Orchard Trophy as his Association’s outstanding player in that season’s intrastate matches. After further premiership success with Scottsdale in 1977 and 1982 the 33-year-old Lethborg took the reins as captain-coach of the Magpies in 1984, leading his side to a premiership in his first season. After one more year in charge in 1985 Lethborg handed over the mantle of coach but continued on as a player, playing in his sixth senior premiership in 1986. After passing the 400-game milestone in 1989 Lethborg would finally retire at the end of that season aged 39, having played a club record 406 senior games. He would go out on the highest possible note, playing in his seventh senior premiership as Scottsdale defeated Smithton by 18 points. An immortal of the black and white, he was named on a half back flank in Scottsdale’s ‘Team of the Century’ in 2000.