BULLDOGS TRADE: Tom Liberatore in his statement has signed….

Tom Liberatore extends his stay with the Bulldogs

Evergreen Western Bulldogs stalwart Tom Liberatore has one eye on eclipsing his decorated dad Tony’s stint at the AFL club after signing until the end of next season.

A father-son selection in 2010, Liberatore was in the Bulldogs’ breakthrough premiership team in 2016 and won their best and fairest in 2014.

His new deal will extend his time at the club into a 15th year. His father, the 1990 Brownlow medallist, played 283 VFL/AFL games with the Bulldogs across 17 seasons.

The 31-year-old Liberatore was never expected to leave Whitten Oval, but said on Wednesday he was delighted to have his future sorted.

“It is really nice to get it done this early, particularly given the start to the season. I am focused on what we’re building here at the club,” he said.

“I’ll try and catch the old man. It is a great honour to play for the club I grew up supporting and to play in the same place Dad did for such a long period of time is a great privilege and honour.

“The connection between the old and young players is really strong, the VFL is going well … the future is looking exciting.”

Liberatore has been a midfield stalwart across his 219 games and was elevated to vice-captain this year.

“Tom epitomises the heart and soul of the Western Bulldogs and we’re thrilled to extend him into 2025,” list manager Sam Power said.

“His level of consistency over a long period of time stands up with some of the best midfielders in the competition, alongside his ability to lead and bring younger players with him on the journey.”

Liberatore was substituted out of the Bulldogs’ win against West Coast at the weekend, after dominating the opening three quarters. It was later clarified he wasn’t injured.

The Bulldogs are sitting at 2-1 after their first three games and face Geelong at Adelaide Oval on

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