Libba dumps Carltank in it again?

BROWNLOW Medallist Tony Liberatore has fessed up to punching Matthew Knights and clawing Craig McRae's face, but stopped short of saying he was a dirty player.


Liberatore admitted he wasn‘t proud of some of his on-field actions and also refused to shy away from his claims that Carlton tanked to land Matthew Kreuzer. The Western Bulldogs great was suspended for five matches for opening Knights‘ forehead in an incident that sparked a war of words between the Dogs and Richmond and copped three weeks for clawing McRae. And Liberatore said it was Bulldogs legend Charlie Sutton‘s famous catchphrase of “shop early and avoid the rush” that led to the hit on Knights in 2001.


“I took things into my own hands, I probably shouldn‘t have done what I‘d done,” Liberatore told Fox Footy‘s Open Mike.

“He was niggling one of our wingmen, Matthew Robbins, and I thought he‘s pretty fired up.

“From the corner of my eye I thought he was going to come through and collect me. I just felt that something was going to happen, so unfortunately I did what Charlie Sutton told me. I got in first.”


Liberatore said he clawed McRae out of retaliation in 1999 but denied he was a scratcher despite incidents with Steven Lawrence and ex-Swans champion Paul Kelly. Liberatore ended his tenure as an assistant coach at the Blues in 2007, the season Denis Pagan was sacked. The Blues lost the last 11 matches that year to secure Kreuzer with the No. 1 draft pick.

He said while the players wanted to win, the Blues - under interim coach Brett Ratten - were constructing ways to lose by warehousing players for the season and pulling stars including Brendan Fevola from the field.


"Players will always try on the football ground, so that's where the misconception about tanking is.

"I still believe that (tanking) is something that occurred ... players at the time were told don't play for the rest of the year, you have an injured shin. And to me that's tanking, isn't it?"


Liberatore said he was interviewed by the AFL‘s Rod Austin but learned through the newspapers the league would not follow up the tanking claims. Fevola has claimed Carlton did not want to win, ruling him out with a broken finger for the final two rounds. Earlier this year the AFL slugged Melbourne $500,000 and suspended Dean Bailey and Chris Connolly for “actions prejudicial to interests of the AFL”.

The 283-game champion, who was reborn as a tagger in 1997, denied he ever scratched players and said most of his opponents were “mentally weak”.


“I had to survive. In 1997 (coach) Terry Wallace said to me you have to change the way you play (because) opposition players are quicker than you, they‘re getting off you, I want you to become a run-with player,” the tackling machine said.

“When I‘d line up on players straight away they‘d go ‘I‘m going to get beaten today‘. They were just so mentally weak that I thought they were easy targets.”


Liberatore defended Fremantle stopper Ryan Crowley, who was fined for pinching Brent Harvey “about 300 times” earlier this year and blasted by Gary Ablett last year for playing the ball and not the man.


“I applaud Ryan Crowley, I mean I think he‘s a wonderful player and I love the way he plays. He‘s a character of the game,” he said.

“I think some clubs get a little bit precious and can‘t sort of say ‘you know what, this bloke beat me today‘.”


Liberatore said the dark arts of football had undergone a transformation since his playing days, praising the AFL for its direction. His son Tom has blossomed into a star for the Dogs this season, averaging 25 disposals and eight clearances a match.


“(Tom‘s) done really well. We have a terrific coach in Brendan McCartney, I look at him as a coach very similar to the young players – he‘s learning all the time. It‘s exciting times.”


Who cares, WE TOOK DRUGS!!!!!


In all seriousness, I love it.

Who cares, WE TOOK DRUGS!!!!!


In all seriousness, I love it.

My thoughts exactly. Will go absolutely nowhere again.

B Cousins looked as though Liberatore had taken to him with a cheese grater during a game at Subi.


Cousins still got 30+.

Tackling machine is about right, because that is about all he could do. Sniping little ■■■■, and worst Brownlow Medal winner of all time. His win, really did devalue that award. 

Liberatore is the reason taggers are regarded as vermin. Absolute scumbag.

Hmmm, heaps of positive sentiment in here over Libba. LOL

Was my first "hated player", despised him.

In person he looks more ripped & fitter than any of his kids.

Muscles in his legs look like a jacknifed train. Ridiculously good nick.