AFL: Western Bulldogs star Tom Liberatore inks new deal

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Western Bulldogs star Tom Liberatore says he wants to “try and catch the old man” after committing to another season at Whitten Oval in 2025.

The Bulldogs premiership player and new vice-captain has inked a new one-year deal that will give him a 15th season and potentially extend his career beyond the 250-game milestone.

After his father Tony Liberatore played 283 games for the Bulldogs in 16 years, the 31-year-old said he was eager to push beyond the new deal if he was able.

Liberatore’s bash-and-crash style would test his longevity into his 30s, but he put together one of his best years in 2023 as he averaged 27 disposals per game and made the All-Australian squad.

“I’m rapt to sign again, it has been a great journey so far,” Liberatore said.

“It is really nice to get it done this early particularly given the start to the season and I am focused on what we’re building here at the club.

“I’ll try and catch the old man, think he played for 16 years so I’m one behind.

“It is a great honour to play for the club I grew up supporting and to play in the same place Dad did for such a long period of time is a great privilege and honour.

“The connection between the old and young players is really strong, the VFL is going well, obviously a long way to go but the future is looking exciting.”

Western Bulldogs list boss Sam Power said Liberatore could play on for “years to come”.

“Tom epitomises the heart and soul of the Western Bulldogs and we’re thrilled to extend him into 2025,” Power said.

“His level of consistency over a long period of time stands up with some of the best midfielders in the competition, alongside his ability to lead and bring younger players with him on the journey.

“Being named vice-captain this season was great reward for Tom. He’s a very popular member of the locker room and leads by example on field, playing a selfless role through our midfield.