Baker lands spot at Tigers as a rookie

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Tenacious small forward Liam Baker, who hails from Lake Grace, will join premiers Richmond after being selected with pick 18 on Monday’s AFL rookie draft.

Overlooked in the 2016 national draft, Baker switched from West Perth to Subiaco in the off-season and made his league debut in round 6 for the Lions after impressing in the reserves.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a terrific 2017 with the Lions, playing 13 league games where he kicked 19 goals and averaged 16 disposals and four tackles per game before going on to be a part of their losing grand final side.

Baker attended the State draft combine and was taken by the Tigers with their only selection in the rookie draft. He join the likes of Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe and brothers Mitch, Cale and Jarryd Morton to join the AFL ranks from the small town of Lake Grace.

After flying into Melbourne on Tuesday night, Baker will quickly join his fellow Tigers’ draftees on a camp in Tasmania. Despite a dominant season at WAFL level, in which he claimed the 2017 Sandover Medal, Katanning product and South Fremantle star Haiden Schloithe was not given an AFL lifeline in the rookie draft.

The former Dockers rookie was highly touted to potentially return to an AFL list either in the national or rookie draft. Delisted Hawthorn midfielder Kade Stewart, also from Katanning, was also unable to find another AFL home after playing seven games in his two years on the Hawks list.

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