Premiership Bulldog Tom Liberatore has had some hard luck with injuries throughout his career. Having done his ACL twice, Libba has missed two full seasons of footy. A proven scorer and exciting footy player when fit, at just $300k the unique character must be considered.
Player: Tom Liberatore
Team: Western Bulldogs
Games played 2018: 1
2018 average: 13
100+ scores: 0
90+ scores: 0
At the end of the 2018 season, Liberatore’s future was unclear. The then-unrestricted free agent didn’t sign on with the Dogs until the last day of the free agency period and there was talk that the Dogs potentially no longer wanted him.
In light of this, Liberatore apparently returned to The Kennel with his head right and determined to make an impact again. His body is back to really good condition and it showed in his JLT game when he attacked the contest hard.
Liberatore was solid in his first competitive hit out since his second ACL injury in round one last year. He scored 111 in a game against the Suns and looked very good. He played predominantly midfield, attending 15 centre bounces, racking up 27 possessions and kicking a goal.
Which rookies starred? The full JLT Week One Wrap
Despite returning from his second ACL, Libba still attacked the contest well having four tackles and a solid 13 contested possessions (second most in the game).
The best part about Liberatore’s consistent midfield minutes throughout the game is that the Doggies had their best midfielders on the park. Bontempelli, Macrae, McLean, Wallis, Hunter and Dunkley were all in the team which could be an indicator that coach Luke Beveridge still believes Libba is one of his best midfielders.
Every SuperCoach knows the scoring ability that Libba possesses.
He has averaged averaged over 90 three times and has career-best season of 110 points per game from 22 games in 2014. Yes, 2014 was five years ago but the word out of the club is that his body is back to top-notch condition.
Fallen premium or breakout contender? How to pick those breakout players
All we need as coaches is a minimum average of 85 points per game from Libba to make good cash and have a nice scoring output – and Libba is very capable of that.
One more little positive is that Libba is still only 26, an age where many midfielders hit their prime.
Libba’s body is the main concern. He has done his ACL twice now, which isn’t good considering the amount of players who suffer from multiple ACL injuries throughout their careers.
He attacks the footy like a mad man and can put his body, knee in particular, into vulnerable positions.
Another negative about Libba is that he can have the wrong attitude. The Dogs say he has his mind is in the right space now but it’s still something to consider.
Watch him closely in his JLT game today against the Saints. If he performs well again he will be very hard to turn down. A player of his quality at $300k is very good value.
12 days to go: How To Pick That Breakout Player
13 days to go: Angus Brayshaw Player Radar
14 days to go: JLT Stats You Might’ve Missed
15 days to go: Fresh Faces | Haw, Melb, NM, Port
16 days to go: Jack Steele Player Radar
17 days to go: Dylan Roberton Player Radar
18 days to go: Tim Kelly Player Radar
19 days to go: Toby Nankervis Player Radar
20 days to go: Detailed JLT Series notes
21 days to go: Tim Taranto Player Radar
22 days to go: Matty’s Top 20 Breakout Contenders
23 days to go: Shorty’s Worst Ever Trade
24 days to go: Fresh Faces | Freo, Geel, GC, GWS
25 days to go: Anthony Miles Player Profile
26 days to go: The Praccy Matches – and what they mean for SuperCoach
27 days to go: Brodie Smith Player Radar
28 days to go: Kade Simpson Player Radar
29 days to go: The Premiums | Midfielders
30 days to go: Callum Mills Player Profile
31 days to go: Adam Cerra Player Radar
32 days to go: Lachie Neale Player Radar
33 days to go: Fresh Faces | Adel, Bris, Carl, Coll, Ess
34 days to go: Matty’s Top 50 Rookies & Mature-Aged Players
35 days to go: The Premiums | Defenders
36 days to go: The Floating Donut Explained
37 days to go: The Burn List – Michael Walters
38 days to go: Todd Goldstein Player Radar
39 days to go: How the new rules will impact SuperCoach
40 days to go: SuperCoach positional analysis