Player Radar 2019 | Tom Liberatore

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
Age: 26
Price: $300,400
Position: Midfielder
Games played 2018: 1
2018 average: 13
100+ scores: 0
90+ scores: 0

PROS

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

CONS

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.

VERDICT

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.


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