The Western Bulldogs have received a major boost, with star youngster Tom Liberatore penning a new deal that will see him through until at least the end of the 2018 season.
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Liberatore enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, receiving an All-Australian nomination at the tender age of 21.
While Liberatore has been ruled out of the 2015 season with a knee injury, the Bulldogs have moved quickly to lock-in one of its key stars.
Western Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said the 22-year-old was a crucial player and that the club looked forward to welcoming him back to the field in 2016.
“Tom is an incredibly talented young player, and is such a crucial part of our midfield and team in general,” McCartney said in a club statement.
“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 the potential of the young Bulldogs side had him excited for the future.
“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 making his debut for the Bulldogs in 2011.
He was taken under the father-son rule after his father Tony played 283 games for the club between 1986 and 2002.