Thanks Thanks:  12
Likes Likes:  7
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Warragul
    Posts
    3,754
    Post Thanks / Like

    Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    A photograph taken on Sunday, after Tom Liberatore kicked the “sealer’’ against Hawthorn at the MCG, is symbolic of what Libba means to his Bulldog teammates.

    Sprawled on the ground, arms thrust in the air, he is set upon by teammates; Marcus Bontempelli’s eyes piercing with adulation.

    It happens after most goals in a tight game, but this was different. This was Libba.

    At 26, he’s back from a second knee reconstruction.

    That alone is a story of resilience and a love of the game, and, he said, a love for the people he represented.

    He won a flag in 2016, supposedly partied like it was 1999, and for a time was the poster boy for football from another time: free-spirited and carefree. But he said that perception, of his character and behaviour, was a problem for other people.

    “I think the people who think I’m different don’t know me,’’ he said.

    “It’s like anyone, really. It’s easy to speculate and it’s the easy way out to think things that are true or not true. I don’t really care. They’re the ones with an issue, not me.’’

    He seemed to have avoided the media in his eight-year career, or the Bulldogs have shielded him from it, so it was a surprise he fronted several media outlets at Doggies headquarters on Tuesday.

    Most of the chat was about his knee, his mentality and his form in the first two rounds.

    The best chat was about Liberatore the person, a largely unknown entity to those outside the football club. Internally, an endearing tenderness is reserved for Libba.

    “He’s the heart and soul of a football club, the glue who joins people together but who also inspires,’’ chief executive Ameet Bains said.

    He described Libba as *!“engaging, thoughtful and charismatic’’.

    Liberatore said footy and fun was not about having an ability to click one off and the other on when the occasion presented.

    “I don’t think it’s ever been about serious and fun, it’s been about focusing on what’s good for me and what’s not,’’ he said.

    “And I feel the most fun I’m having is right now. Now that I’m a bit older and I’m playing footy — that’s what I like doing the most. Just being healthy and happy mentally and footy is a byproduct of that. You know, happy in life, happy in footy.’’

    Unlike his first knee op, the second knee op didn’t send him to dark places.

    “Football is part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me,’’ he said. “I think it used to when I was younger, and I think having a year out last year helped me transition into outside life.’’

    While his teammates laboured in a mediocre season, Libba laboured in rehab and prospered elsewhere.

    With a mate, he’s set up an app called Busket which helps the buskers in the city, underpinning his desire to help the homeless of Melbourne.

    “There’s around 110,000 to 115,000 who don’t have a home to go back to at night,” he said.

    “We are trying to raise awareness, providing opportunities for people who wouldn’t get it, and tackling the stigma around the homeless, trying to create a positive platform for people who wouldn’t have it otherwise.’’

    He also studied creative writing at RMIT.

    “I’ve enjoyed poetry, I’ve enjoyed screenwriting, and I want to tie it in with social work,’’ he said.

    “I want to write with a purpose and with a passion.’’

    One of his favourites is Hunter S. Thompson. Near his recent Simpsons tattoos is a tattoo of a Thompson quote: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.’’

    Throughout was a desire to return to football, and when asked what football meant to him, he said: “I was actually thinking about this the other day, and my mates ask me from time to time.

    “Football for me is … you know, everyone plays for themselves, it’s part of what they do. For me, it’s more getting the best out of myself for other people. I play for my mum, my dad, my brother.

    “I was lucky enough that I had the talent, and you’ve got to get the best out of yourself, and pay respect to the game and to people who want to get the best out of you, and the people who couldn’t do this.’’

    Have you grown to respect the game?

    “I’ve never abused it, it’s just more about learning and growth. Being able to realise what it means to me,’’ he said.

    He came back to a changed environment in 2019. The youngsters are older and bigger, there are new recruits, and, of course, departing mates such as Luke Dahlhaus.

    “Initially it was sad, but that’s a selfish point of view, I guess, because he’s my mate,’’ Libba said.

    “But I think it had a positive effect on both of us. He’s always been good, no matter what s--- he’s got going on, he always rocks up on time and is always working his arse off. I’m rapt to see him thriving and see his energy and smile on his face.”

    And retiring teammates, such as Liam Picken?

    “Initially you get sad, and you’re upset for him that he couldn’t go that one step further,” he said. “But from a reality point of view and positive way of things, you celebrate how good he was. His journey sums up his character in the club.”

    What had not changed — and certainly was missed — was Liberatore’s game-day energy; from his talk and encouragement to harassing opposition players, by bump or rustling of their hair.

    “I bring that energy and bring that enjoyment and bring that sense of positive energy towards us and negative energy towards them,’’ he said.

    “I just do anything I can to make it easier for my teammates, that’s why I do it.

    “It puts them on the back foot, and we have a better chance of winning.”

    After two rounds, the enthusiastic and swarming Bulldogs are 2-0, and Liberatore is hunting and gathering in a midfield of plenty.

    For a bloke back from a second knee, it can’t get better.

    “I think we’re playing with a bit more freedom now, just naturally because of our form … and because we started well, you get that extra boost of freedom,’’ he said.

    “We’ve got blokes playing VFL that could be playing AFL … it’s exciting stuff.’’

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    6,112
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Great article, never heard about his app for the homeless before

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6,495
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Some thoughtful answers there that fly in the face of likely public perception of him.

  4. Likes Scraggers liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    EJ Whitten Stand
    Posts
    13,463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Very good article. Great hearing positive news about Libba. He is back!
    Last edited by Eastdog; 03-04-2019 at 05:39 PM.
    AFL PREMIERS 2016

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Shanghai
    Posts
    8,803
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Who is playing VFL that could be in our firsts? Exciting article and thanks for posting.
    "We've got to be good in the phone box, and good in the tardis" - Pearls of wisdom from Luke Beveridge.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    39,685
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Dog View Post
    Who is playing VFL that could be in our firsts? Exciting article and thanks for posting.
    Lippa for starters.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    north-west willy
    Posts
    926
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    There was a link to a Tom Liberatore t=shirt somewhere on the forum. Does anyone know where? Cheers

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    39,685
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Quote Originally Posted by HOSE B ROMERO View Post
    There was a link to a Tom Liberatore t=shirt somewhere on the forum. Does anyone know where? Cheers
    Look in the Libba thread, I posted one.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,611
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Quote Originally Posted by HOSE B ROMERO View Post
    There was a link to a Tom Liberatore t=shirt somewhere on the forum. Does anyone know where? Cheers
    I’ve gotten 2 over the journey.

    The Statue of Liberatore is my fave.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    39,685
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Quote Originally Posted by HOSE B ROMERO View Post
    There was a link to a Tom Liberatore t=shirt somewhere on the forum. Does anyone know where? Cheers
    Here are two sites that sell them:

    https://www.redbubble.com/shop/libba+t-shirts

    and Beanies, plus T shirts: https://carltondrafttshirts.com/coll...s/libba-beanie

    I hope they have his permission and he is getting something out of it.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  12. Thanks HOSE B ROMERO thanked for this post
  13. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mulligan's Boogie-board
    Posts
    8,733
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    I bought a Libba beanie & T short combo. The girl working the door at the comedy festival last night was wearing one and against the Suns a guy was talking about how much he loves the beanie.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    39,685
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    I bought a Libba beanie & T short combo. The girl working the door at the comedy festival last night was wearing one and against the Suns a guy was talking about how much he loves the beanie.
    The colours of the beanie look a bit washed out.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  15. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,851
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson chats to Tom Liberatore about football, public perception and Luke Dahlhaus

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    The colours of the beanie look a bit washed out.
    Can confirm this - the blue is way more sky blue.

    It's a small beanie too - I like the New Era beanies, the Libba beanie is way tighter & thinner on your head.

    Does anyone have the Libba t? Wondering if it's an AS Colour
    Float Along - Fill Your Lungs

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •