21 November 1972
1994 National AFL Draft zone selection (Sydney)
1995 AFL Debut
2003 International Rules Series
2004 3rd Best and Fairest
2004 & 2005 All Australian
2005 Sydney Premiership
A promising half forward, Leo Barry was recruited from the small NSW town of Deniliquin in the 1994 National Draft. Leo made his debut in 1995, but struggled for consistency in the early part of his career on a half forward flank.
It wasn’t until the Rodney Eade-inspired move to defence in 2001, that the football world took notice of Leo, to which he provided Sydney with plenty of transitional run and great penetration with his kicks. A fearless defender with great pace and an athletic jump, he excelled as a key member in the Sydney backline and earned the apt nickname “Leaping Leo”.
Leo faced a career threatening spleen injury, during a round three match in 2003, valiantly returning a mere nine weeks later displaying enormous courage. His bravery is unquestioned, as is his willingness to back his own ability.
In 2004 Leo took his game to another level playing all 22 games in the home and away season and 2 finals and filling in at full back on some of the games leading goal kickers including St Kilda’s Fraser Gehrig who he held kickless in round 11. His efforts earned him All-Australian honours and saw him finish third in the Best & Fairest.
Leo was the last man to hold the footy in the 2005 Grand Final, taking that heroic pack mark that will forever be etched in every football fans mind. Capping off a fantastic year with his second All-Australian selection..His exceptional service over the years to the Swans was rewarded with a promotion in 2005 to be named co-captain of the club.
Leo continued his fine form into the 2006 season, producing yet another consistent year, finishing sixth in the Best and Fairest. Once again, 2007 saw the consistent Leo Barry at his best but a hamstring injury cut short his season and he missed the last 6 games. However, he did finish equal 7th in the Best & Fairest and managed to notch up his 200th game.
Leo plays with plenty of flair and loves to carry the ball down the ground add to this his courage and leadership and he is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most important players.