Tom Liberatore looks on ahead of the R19 match between Western Bulldogs and Essendon at Marvel Stadium on July 21, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs veteran Tom Liberatore has been appointed vice-captain for the 2024 season, nine years after the midfielder was last in the leadership group at the Whitten Oval. 

The 31-year-old has been one of the most consistent performers at the club across the past four seasons, finishing second or third in every Charles Sutton Medal since 2020. 

Former St Kilda skipper Jarryn Geary joined the Bulldogs as leadership and development coach during the off-season and led the leadership process this month, with Liberatore featuring prominently in the votes. 

Five-time All-Australian and five-time best and fairest winner Marcus Bontempelli will captain the club for the fifth consecutive year in 2024. 

Iconic club figure Ted Whitten led the Bulldogs on 212 occasions – the fifth most in VFL/AFL history – and will take some beating, even though Bontempelli is only 28.

Star key forward Aaron Naughton and All-Australian Caleb Daniel have both been named deputy vice-captains. 

Aaron Naughton celebrates a goal during the Western Bulldogs' win over Fremantle in round six, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

After having a five-man leadership group last season, the Dogs have added three new names to the group, while Jack Macrae hasn’t been included this season. 

Liam Jones has been recognised for his great return season to the club – and to the AFL – with a leadership title, along with emerging star Ed Richards. 

The pair both produced brilliant 2023 campaigns, putting themselves in All-Australian contention mid-year before injury setbacks. Richards still finished third in the Sutton Medal, while Jones came fifth. 

Veteran small defender Taylor Duryea has been retained in the leadership group, underlining his standing inside the four walls of the club.