Baker the reason Pingaring will cheer for the Tigers

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Liam Baker at the AFL Rising Star award with sisters Corrina and Julia.
Camera IconLiam Baker at the AFL Rising Star award with sisters Corrina and Julia. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

There will be a groundswell of support from not only the small town of Pingaring but the greater Great Southern region, with cult hero Liam Baker set to play in his first AFL grand final for Richmond on Saturday.

With their family farm in Pingaring, Baker began his football with the famous Lake Grace-Pingrup Bombers who have been in the news this week thanks to dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe.

However, the quietly spoken Baker will take centrestage when Richmond face Greater Western Sydney on the AFL’s biggest stage on Saturday afternoon — a remarkable achievement from the rookie list.

The 21-year-old Subiaco product made his AFL debut in 2018 and has played 18 games this season to cement his place in the senior team. Now playing a role in defence, Baker had 18 disposals in the Tigers preliminary final victory over Geelong and appears a certainty to be selected in the final 22 for the grand final.

Liam Baker at Richmond training on Tuesday.
Camera IconLiam Baker at Richmond training on Tuesday. Credit: Getty Images

His parents Kim and Karen have travelled to Melbourne this week ahead of one of their proudest moments as a family.

Dad Kim said his son never dwelled on missing out in a couple of drafts.

“After missing out in the 2017 drafts I said to him, ‘Don’t worry mate go back to Subiaco and enjoy your footy there’,” Kim Baker said. “He said to me, ‘Dad all I want is an opportunity’.

“You don’t really know how far your kids will go but from being a rookie to now a grand final squad, he has certainly grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

“It is every kids dream and Lake Grace was a great grounding for Liam. It is very exciting, we are so pleased for him.”

A big contingent of family and close friends will travel to the MCG for Baker’s big day, including sisters Corrina and Julia.

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