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  1. #1
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    Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    https://www.afl.com.au/news/953769/b...-s-high-impact

    TOM LIBERATORE is the AFL's quietest achiever.
    Despite a storied career and a series of metrics that paint the tenacious Western Bulldogs midfielder as one of the game's top-three players over the last handful of seasons, Liberatore continues to be shunned for individual honours.


    The 2016 premiership star has remarkably never featured in an All-Australian side, hasn't even made the 40-man squad since 2014, and is into his ninth consecutive season without a Charles Sutton Medal as the club's best and fairest.
    But, should his 2023 campaign rightfully be recognised, this is the season in which all that could change.

    According to Champion Data, over the past three seasons Liberatore ranks top-three in the competition for AFL Player Ratings Points ? the stats guru's most definitive metric to highlight influence on a game ? per 100 minutes.

    Liberatore's AFL Player Ratings Points per 100 minutes of 16.60 ranks behind only his teammate and superstar captain Marcus Bontempelli (17.28) and Melbourne jet Clayton Oliver (16.68), underlining the esteemed company he finds himself in.

    It's also ahead of some of the game's most renowned stars like Jack Macrae (15.41), Christian Petracca (15.40), Patrick Dangerfield (15.31), Touk Miller (15.10), Zach Merrett (14.95), Darcy Parish (14.82) and Brodie Grundy (14.75) throughout that period.
    AFL PLAYER RATINGS
    PER 100 MINS (2021-23)
    CAREER ALL-AUS
    SELECTIONS
    MARCUS BONTEMPELLI 17.28 4
    CLAYTON OLIVER 16.68 3
    TOM LIBERATORE 16.60
    JACK MACRAE 15.41 3
    CHRISTIAN PETRACCA 15.40 3
    PATRICK DANGERFIELD 15.31 8
    TOUK MILLER 15.10 2
    ZACH MERRETT 14.95 2
    DARCY PARISH 14.82 1
    BRODIE GRUNDY 14.75 2

    Across the last three seasons combined, a span stretching 2021-23, it's hard to find a midfield metric in which Liberatore doesn't rate well. He is, along with the aforementioned stars of the game, a complete onballer.

    He averages a prolific 25 disposals per game, ranks No.2 in the competition behind only Oliver for clearances (7.4 per match) and ranks No.3 behind Matt Rowell and Jack Steele for pressure points (61 per match).

    Liberatore also ranks top-10 in the League for contested possessions (13.4 per match) over the last three seasons, top-20 for tackles (5.4 per match) and fractionally outside the top-20 for score involvements (6.4 per match).

    Perhaps, though, recognition both internally and externally will finally arrive later this season. Having finished third behind Caleb Daniel (2020) and Bontempelli (2021), and then second behind Josh Dunkley (2022) in the Dogs' best and fairest recently, Liberatore is soaring in 2023.

    The 31-year-old is still averaging career-highs in disposals (27.2 per match), pressure points (69.5 per match), tackles (6.8 per match) and AFL Player Ratings Points (16.4) to start the season. Meanwhile, his contested possession (13.5 per match) and clearance (7.2 per match) numbers also reflect the third-best output of his career.

    Liberatore has spent much of his 208-game career thriving out of the spotlight, a role that in part has been enabled by Bontempelli's brilliance. This season, though, the veteran might have a few more acceptance speeches to give at year's end.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    3 of the top ten are Bulldogs
    FFC: Established 1883

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  4. #3
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    3 of the top ten are Bulldogs
    Three of the top four, even. They've been quite the trio, and right up there in my books with great midfield combinations of years past - Lions 01-03, Eagles 05-06, Geelong 07-11. A shame that we haven't capitalised on their dominance like those teams did.

    Astonishing that Libba hasn't received an AA gong. He's been painted with the same brush as his dad for his whole career, with everyone always talking about his toughness. No doubt he's tough but his defining characteristic is jaw-droppingly elite ball handling and spatial awareness.
    'And the Western suburbs erupt!'

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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    I don't underrate him. He's amazing. I flat out love him. I'm so glad we have him and he keeps on going!

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  7. #5
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Inclined to file this under 'are we squandering a golden era or are we simply overrating the list?' ...

    Regardless, the single most terrifying prospect facing this team is what the frig we're going to do when Libba retires.
    BORDERLINE FLYING

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  9. #6
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Science View Post
    Inclined to file this under 'are we squandering a golden era or are we simply overrating the list?' ...

    Regardless, the single most terrifying prospect facing this team is what the frig we're going to do when Libba retires.
    Scott West's Facebook is certainly going to be interesting.
    Last edited by EasternWest; 21-06-2023 at 07:02 PM.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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  11. #7
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Scoot West's Facebook is certainly going to be interesting.
    Is that the Scottish version?

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  13. #8
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantysghost View Post
    Is that the Scottish version?
    Aren't you out for 5 .

    Edit: oh damn I just saw my typo that you were referencing. Sorry, your quick with deserved better than I gave it.
    Last edited by EasternWest; 21-06-2023 at 07:03 PM.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  14. #9
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Aren't you out for 5 .
    Oh yeah!

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  16. #10
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Yes he may have faults, very few however compared to most, recognize him for the champion that he is.

    Mantis
    Re: WB Game Day V North Melbourne R14 2023 Sun 18/6, 4:40PM - Marvel Stadium
    I’m over Libba just throwing the ball out.

  17. #11
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Quote Originally Posted by westbulldog View Post
    Yes he may have faults, very few however compared to most, recognize him for the champion that he is.

    Mantis
    Re: WB Game Day V North Melbourne R14 2023 Sun 18/6, 4:40PM - Marvel Stadium
    I?m over Libba just throwing the ball out.
    Mantis can speak for himself. What the comment is about, and it?s valid, is that this year Libba has let a very bad habit into his game that is costing him and us badly. That is not taking the tackle and releasing it, in its worst manifestation it?s over the head and blind handballs to no one (ie throwing it) which ends up being opposition players, torching us on the rebound and leading to easy goals.

    Libba is a gun, no one denies that. This feature in his game this year is not a good thing and I think it?s more than fair if me, Mantis or anyone else to acknowledge him as a player, but identity this poor habit and want for him to fix it and so becoming even a more better and consistent player and cut down on easy turnovers and easy turnover goals.

    Surely we can agree he?s a gun, but also, it?s a not a good thing to hand the ball over for an easy turnover goals. Surely both can be true at the same time?
    Rocket Science: the epitaph for the Beveridge era - whenever it ends - reading 'Here lies a team that could beat anyone on its day, but seldom did when it mattered most'. 15/7/2023

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  19. #12
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    Re: Better than Trac and Danger: Low-key Dog's high impact

    Libba is absolutely underrated in AFL circles but has been as consistent as anyone and does a lot of the work that flies under the radar compared to see of his more talked about team mates. While he didn’t have his best game in front of the sticks last week, he’s also become a player who can impact the scoreboard.

    This just highlights how our defensive work and lack of effectiveness in the forward half are large barriers to success when you look at where the top end talent sits we’re as good as any of our peers. And date I say it does make the argument for having a well drilled 16-23 clear and capable of playing their assigned role and conforming to team ethos and structure consistently.

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