The Western Bulldogs midfield was already stacked before the addition of Adam Treloar, but it has gone to a new level in 2021.
Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Treloar, Josh Dunkley, Lachie Hunter and Bailey Smith receive a lot of plaudits for their work, and rightly so.
The somewhat unheralded member of the squad is Tom Liberatore, who is quietly averaging 26 disposals, nine clearances and eight score involvements so far this season.
David King has revealed that after three weeks of the season, Liberatore is actually ranked second in the competition for generating scores.
“I had a look at some random numbers. Guys that generate scores. There’s always a player that starts the chain,” King told SEN Breakfast.
“Usually it’s ruckmen because scores from stoppages are 30 per cent of scoring.
“So Nic Naitanui is clearly number one and most of that is at centre bounces logically.
“The player ranked second is Tom Liberatore. Now that surprised me, but that just shows the importance of this guy in this group.
“They don’t need Treloar to come in and win contested possessions because you don’t want to be butting heads with your teammates.
“I think the complimentary role they’ve got with this midfield is allowing Marcus Bontempelli to get forward of the ball, it’s allowing Jack Macrae to get forward of the ball and Treloar with his breakaway speed, it’s going to be hard to clamp.”
King was also full of praise for Treloar and how he has changed the shape of this Bulldogs midfield on the outside.
“They added Adam Treloar in and Treloar isn’t winning contested possessions, he’s not. He’s the first receiver at breakneck speed and his kicking is a lot better given he’s been told he’s a good player … he’s living a different version of himself right now,” the former Kangaroo said.
“What he’s done to this midfield is just unbelievable.
“They’re stacked in the midfield, we all know that, but the contested possession numbers are just crazy numbers. Back to 2016.
“Don’t undersell how tough they are (either).”
The Dogs obliterated North Melbourne by 128 points in Round 3 and now face a much tougher task up against Brisbane at Mars Stadium.