Now 33 years of age, Michael Liebelt left the field for the final time after South Clare's Vandeleur Cup match last Saturday, June 16.
With his eldest son Kade in arm, Liebelt was acknowledged for his service with both teams making a guard of honour as he departed the playing arena.
Liebelt came into NEFL A grade football as a 16-year-old and retired from the game highly respected by peers and opponents alike.
While his final game will not go down as a fond memory, as his beloved Demons went down to RSMU by a large margin in tough wet and rainy conditions on Clare Oval, his legacy in the NEFL and greater country football is significant.
The son of a premiership player and best and fairest, Michael senior, where he inherited his noted leap, he also has a huge connection to the Vandeleur clan, which has three generations at the club, through his mother, Merridy.
Michael Liebelt played in a pair of premierships with South in 2002 and 2005 was a key member of Central Zone title winning state Country Championships in 2006 and 2013. He was also player of the championships after the second victory in ’13 at Port Pirie.
Liebelt played a handful of games of league football at Glenelg and also enjoyed premiership success with the Bays at SANFL reserves level in 2007 and 2009.
Noted as a high leaping, athletic footballer, he is a South Clare Demon club champion (and runner up five times) and a three times leading goal kicker for the NEFL.
Liebelt list of accolades include no less than eight Northern Argus “Team of the Year” selections and state country representation on five occasions, in a variety of role both up forward, in ruck and as a key defender.
Notably, opposition coach on Saturday, RSMU’s Steve Lubcke made a point of approaching Liebelt and thanking him for his service to SA Country Football, especially for the role he played in a number of games when he coached the state country side to a run of unbroken success.
Liebelt, with wife Loren, has two young children, Kade (two and a half) and Bodie (six months), ready to follow in their father’s footsteps.