Tom Liberatore

Thomas Francis Liberatore (born 16 May 1992) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the Western Bulldogs in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is the eldest son of former Bulldogs player Tony Liberatore.[1]

Tom Liberatore
Liberatore in August 2018
Personal information
Full name Thomas Francis Liberatore
Nickname(s) Libba
Date of birth (1992-05-16) 16 May 1992
Original team(s) Calder Cannons (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 40 (F/S), 2010 national draft
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 83 kg (13 st 1 lb; 183 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club AFL Western Bulldogs
Number 21
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2011- Western Bulldogs 132 (45)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2019.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Early Career

Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Liberatore represented Victoria at under-16 level in 2008[2] before being drafted to the Bulldogs from the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup with the 40th selection in the 2010 AFL Draft as a father-son selection, after Sydney nominated their intention to draft him with first-round pick (pick 21) if available.[1] Fellow schoolmate and friend Mitch Wallis was also drafted at pick 22, after the two had played together for club and school St Kevin's College, since a young age.

He was selected in the All-Australian team after the 2010 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, where he had averaged 22 disposals at 72 per cent efficiency, five clearances and four tackles.[3]

In the 2010 TAC Cup Grand Final, he had 28 disposals in the Cannons' 58-point defeat of Gippsland Power.[4] He made his debut in the Western Bulldogs' Round One defeat to Essendon, being named in the best for the side.

AFL Career

Liberatore played 16 games in his debut season, averaging over 18 possessions per game and winning the Chris Grant Medal as the Bulldogs' best first-year player.[5]

In the early hours of 5 August 2012, after a heavy loss to the Kangaroos in Round 19, Liberatore was found by police unconscious on King Street and was questioned about drug offences. He was subsequently suspended for the remainder of the season by the Bulldogs. In addition, he was issued a $5,000 suspended fine, required to undergo club-driven counselling and education, and be engaged in full-time employment for the following six weeks. Liberatore issued a public apology for his actions.[5]

Liberatore redeemed himself the following season, establishing himself as one of the AFL's premier inside midfielders; he ranked second in the league behind only Sydney's Josh Kennedy in both clearances and contested possessions. He was recognized for his efforts with selection in the AFL Players' Association's inaugural 22under22 team, and won the Doug Hawkins Medal and the Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player award at the Bulldogs' best-and-fairest count. He also polled 14 votes at the Brownlow Medal count.

In 2014, despite an ordinary year for the Bulldogs, Liberatore continued his outstanding individual form, registering over 500 possessions for the second consecutive season and leading the league in tackles (173). He won his first Charles Sutton Medal and a number of other club awards.[6]

Returning after missing the whole 2015 season due to a knee injury, Liberatore was a key driving force as the Bulldogs broke their 62-year premiership drought.

Liberatore suffered another knee injury in the first game of the 2018 AFL season against the Greater Western Sydney. During his rehabilitation, he took time to engage in other activities outside of football.[7]

Statistics

Statistics are correct to the end of Round 8, 2019 season [8]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2011 Western Bulldogs 21164111917429330770.30.17.410.918.31.94.8
2012 Western Bulldogs 21174117917235164650.20.110.510.120.63.83.8
2013 Western Bulldogs 212233285286571661370.10.113.013.026.03.06.2
2014 Western Bulldogs 212275244278522611730.30.211.112.623.72.87.9
2015 Western Bulldogs 210
2016 Western Bulldogs 2121143172257429461140.70.18.212.220.42.25.4
2017 Western Bulldogs 211874101209310361170.40.25.611.617.22.06.5
2018 Western Bulldogs 2112132.01.03.0
2019 Western Bulldogs 21826909818820360.250.7511.2512.2523.52.54.5
Career 125 41 23 1192 1475 2667 323 719 0.3 0.2 9.5 11.8 21.3 2.6 5.75

Honours and achievements

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
2011
2012
2013 14
2014 5
2015
2016 1
Total 20

AFL

TAC Cup

References

  1. 'Dogs secure Wallis, Liberatore Archived 6 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Tony Liberatore's son contest national championships".
  3. Draft combine: medium midfielders
  4. Wallis Impresses with 47-touch TAC Cup GF
  5. Levy, Megan; Brodie, Will (6 August 2012). "Bulldog Liberatore quizzed over drug offences". The Age. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. Landsberger, Sam (3 September 2014). "Tom Liberatore crowned Western Bulldogs' best and fairest for 2014 AFL season". Herald Sun. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  7. Legg, Simon (17 December 2018). "Q&A — TOM LIBERATORE". AFL Players.
  8. "Tom Liberatore Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
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