In a major-boost for the Club, reigning Charlie Sutton medallist Tom Liberatore will remain a Bulldog until at least 2018 after agreeing to a new deal this week.
Liberatore cemented himself as one of the best young midfielders in the competition last season, receiving an All-Australian squad nomination and leading the AFL in tackles and clearances.
While the 22-year-old was ruled out of the 2015 season with a knee injury, he has continued to play important roles off the field and is progressing at a good-rate with his rehabilitation program.
List Manager Jason McCartney said Liberatore’s signature was a great outcome for the Club and its overall list strategy.
“Tom is an incredibly talented young player, and is such a crucial part of our midfield and team in general,” McCartney said.
“What we’re most encouraged by however, is that we believe Tom who is still only 22, can take his game to new heights with his work-ethic, ultra-competitive nature and general ability."
“Tom is universally liked and respected around the Club, and we look forward to having him back in the team next season.”
Liberatore said he and the Club were a “good-fit” and that he was most buoyed by the potential of his fellow teammates and the promising times ahead.
“This group has a huge amount of upside, and I’m just pleased to be a very small part of that,” Liberatore said.
“We have an extremely close group of players, coaches and staff who just want to take this Club forward and in light of that, these contractual discussions were pretty seamless.
“I love the Club, and I can’t wait to get back out there with my teammates.”
Liberatore has played 77 games since being taken as a father-son selection in the 2010 National Draft, and joins a raft of young Bulldogs to have re-committed this year, including Jake Stringer, Jackson Macrae, Easton Wood, Luke Dahlhaus and Jordan Roughead.