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  1. #1
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    Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

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    TOM LIBERATORE is setting himself up to bounce back in 2019 as he takes more ownership over the Western Bulldogs' midfield brigade, teammate Hayden Crozier says.

    Liberatore's absence was telling across the bulk of the 2018 season after the tough midfielder tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in round one against Greater Western Sydney, ruling him out for the rest of the year.

    But after a thorough rehab from the injury, those at the Bulldogs are bullish about what he could produce alongside the likes of the much-improved Josh Dunkley, star Marcus Bontempelli and the ultra-consistent Jack Macrae.

    "Libba's flying at the moment. He's come back in really good nick. He's been leading from the front in all our running trials and just the way he goes about his footy (is impressive)," Crozier said on Tuesday.

    "He's that tough inside midfielder that really drives the standard within there and there's a lot of guys looking up to the way he plays.

    "We've seen Josh Dunkley last year really improve his game but I think he'll go to another level this year with guys like Libba around and really pushing him."

    Never one not to push the boundaries, Liberatore has also gained attention for the newly-inked tattoos he has added in the off-season.

    His latest addition on both left and right bicep pays homage to a classic episode in The Simpsons involving protagonist Homer Simpson and a young fast food assistant as the famous dad tries to procure grease as part of a business venture.

    It follows a tattoo of a muesli bar he showed off early in the pre-season.

    "They're interesting tattoos. I don't mind it actually. I wouldn't get those tattoos myself, I don't think my Mum and Dad would be too happy if I did that," Crozier said.

    "But that's Libba, that's why we all love him."

    The Western Bulldogs will face Gold Coast in their first JLT Community Series in Mackay, Queensland on Sunday.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    I am extremely dubious about the Liber comeback.

    He really hasn't played 'positive' footy since 2016 when his combativeness made him (I think) the best contested ball mid in the competition. But that isn't a switch you can turn off and on...To me, it is the same think that afflicted another premiership player who has moved on to Geelong. When your attitude is the 'magic 10%', how to you recapture the 'fury' when your life becomes comfortable and you have proved yourself?

    I understand he will be a good contributor/one of the better players at training...he is a talented player. But is he still up for going head-to-head against Kennedy, or Shuey, or Sidebottom etc.

    Does anyone else feel the same as me or is all of the positive press we have been reading accurate?
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    I am extremely dubious about the Liber comeback.

    He really hasn't played 'positive' footy since 2016 when his combativeness made him (I think) the best contested ball mid in the competition. But that isn't a switch you can turn off and on...To me, it is the same think that afflicted another premiership player who has moved on to Geelong. When your attitude is the 'magic 10%', how to you recapture the 'fury' when your life becomes comfortable and you have proved yourself?

    I understand he will be a good contributor/one of the better players at training...he is a talented player. But is he still up for going head-to-head against Kennedy, or Shuey, or Sidebottom etc.

    Does anyone else feel the same as me or is all of the positive press we have been reading accurate?
    I really don't have any expectations for Libba - he is a great unknown for me. I have high hopes that he can get back to somewhere near his best but I'm not banking on it.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    I think the jury is out until we see how he goes in the opening games. Flowery press reports are ripe this time of year so I wouldn't take them as gospel.
    It will depend if his attitude is where it should be and maybe a wake up call with the movement of other players.
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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    I am extremely dubious about the Liber comeback.

    He really hasn't played 'positive' footy since 2016 when his combativeness made him (I think) the best contested ball mid in the competition. But that isn't a switch you can turn off and on...To me, it is the same think that afflicted another premiership player who has moved on to Geelong. When your attitude is the 'magic 10%', how to you recapture the 'fury' when your life becomes comfortable and you have proved yourself?

    I understand he will be a good contributor/one of the better players at training...he is a talented player. But is he still up for going head-to-head against Kennedy, or Shuey, or Sidebottom etc.

    Does anyone else feel the same as me or is all of the positive press we have been reading accurate?
    I'm not too worried about the attitude for some reason, as I get the impression if Libba is focused and has something to prove it will show in his intent on the field.

    His ability to maintain fitness and come back from another knee is what concerns me. How do his hamstrings hold up when under full fatigue, are his knees as strong as they theoretically should be, or is he more susceptible to knee injuries than others?

    Just looking at his physique gives me confidence his head is in the game, I really hope his body is.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    With Higgins long gone, someone needs to be 'flying' in the preseason I guess. Having witnessed him do two ACLs at around this time of the year twice, I'm concerned with his knees. But I'm hopeful that he can stay on the park and be a better than useful best 22 player. I don't have money on him being the comp best inside mid, but I'm prepared to take baby steps with him about how good he's going to be longer term. The romantic in me wants to see him do well, stay fit and play on, then have us draft Oliver Liberatore this year and see Liberatore brothers next year. Just need to 'watch this space' I guess.
    I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk
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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    I am extremely dubious about the Liber comeback.

    He really hasn't played 'positive' footy since 2016 when his combativeness made him (I think) the best contested ball mid in the competition. But that isn't a switch you can turn off and on...To me, it is the same think that afflicted another premiership player who has moved on to Geelong. When your attitude is the 'magic 10%', how to you recapture the 'fury' when your life becomes comfortable and you have proved yourself?

    I understand he will be a good contributor/one of the better players at training...he is a talented player. But is he still up for going head-to-head against Kennedy, or Shuey, or Sidebottom etc.

    Does anyone else feel the same as me or is all of the positive press we have been reading accurate?
    While I share your concerns I'm not necessarily setting the benchmark for him to get back to his 2016 standard.
    I think there should be some caution about if he has the required hunger and the fact that he was only given a one year deal would indicate as a club we have challenged him in that area.
    I'm cautiously optimistic but I hope I'm also realistic in thinking that for a player like him attitude and work ethic are the determining considerations if he becomes a midfield force again.

    Hopefully that we moved a number of distracted players on at the end of last season is a good warning to all players that it's time to get serious.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post

    Hopefully that we moved a number of distracted players on at the end of last season is a good warning to all players that it's time to get serious.
    Do you get the sense that the footy department - including the players - understand that the time for excuses is LONG past? I have been extremely bullish about our season but I didn't like the tone of this article or the Wood article last week...I want the "Liber has a chip on his shoulder" article, the "Easton Wood has a chip on his shoulder" etc (you could write a dozen of them). I suppose I really wanted Wood to take some responsibility for the failed move forward in that article last week and I thought he ducked it...I then read this and it is almost as if we are expected to forgive and forget 2017 when it comes to Liber as well as cut him some slack for his ACL recovery...

    You have to be a mean barstard to play this game...does Liber still have that in him?
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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Good luck Libba!

    Hoping he has a good 2019.
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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    I suspect things may have changed in Libbas life - perhaps some of the life events that help him mature
    I dont actually doubt that he can get back to near his best - if he is fit, he really only knows one way to play. He naturally enjoys the on field banter and backing it up with his play - I suspect he will be back close to his driven best.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    ..I then read this and it is almost as if we are expected to forgive and forget 2017 when it comes to Liber as well as cut him some slack for his ACL recovery...

    You have to be a mean bastard to play this game...does Liber still have that in him?
    Don't forget this is not really an article but what Crozier said at his press conference.

    I agree though, does he have that competitiveness still in him?, How will his body hold up ? He is a big unknown, but there is upside to the team if he can find form.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    I’m optimistic. Reckon he’ll have a great year. He was meant to be up and about last year but did the knee. Others who were moved on had 2 poor years playing. He had 1 and an injury. Let’s see how his first month goes.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    Don't forget this is not really an article but what Crozier said at his press conference.

    .
    Anyone else watch the Crozier video interview?

    Key thing for me was not about Libba. Rather, that Bont, Dunks and Crozier did that mini pre season in the States.

    Crozier was the pick our recruiter wanted ahead of Smith. He finished last season very well, and I'm expecting a huge season from him in 2019.
    HEIGHT IS OVERRATED: CALEB DANIEL > TOM BOYD

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Who really knows how Libba will go. I would be more concerned about the malaise that typically affects players the year after the knee reco than a lack of appetite. My take is that Libba is realizing he is at the cross roads. A poor 2017, then 2018 written off with injury and him turning 26/27, means that he really is at a point in his career when he should be a nailed down starter in the side and be commanding multi year contracts, but instead he finds himself a poor season or a serious injury away from being put on the scrap heap.

    I hope he can get back to where he was in 2016.

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    Re: Libba 'flying' as he prepares for comeback: Crozier

    Quote Originally Posted by FrediKanoute View Post
    Who really knows how Libba will go. I would be more concerned about the malaise that typically affects players the year after the knee reco than a lack of appetite. My take is that Libba is realizing he is at the cross roads. A poor 2017, then 2018 written off with injury and him turning 26/27, means that he really is at a point in his career when he should be a nailed down starter in the side and be commanding multi year contracts, but instead he finds himself a poor season or a serious injury away from being put on the scrap heap.

    I hope he can get back to where he was in 2016.
    Correct. He's one bad season away from a two year deal at GCS or Carlton, and Brock McLean status*.


    *I get that Libba's best was better than Brock's, but the latter was an extremely good footballer and a bit of a dickhead when he was going well (and Libba for better or worse, has been the epitome of this at times)

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