Rising Star nod for young Baker

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Liam Baker celebrates a goal this season.
Camera IconLiam Baker celebrates a goal this season. Credit: AFL Photos

Pingaring-bred footballer Liam Baker has earned a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination following his superb performance for Richmond in their win over Essendon at the MCG on Saturday night.

Baker is from Pingaring and played juniors for Lake Grace-Pingrup before going on to play colts for West Perth.

He played two seasons with the Falcons and then switched to Subiaco, where he kicked 19 goals in 13 league appearances in 2017 on his way to being rookie listed by the Tigers.

On Saturday, Baker enjoyed a career-best night collecting 24 disposals, 12 of which were contested.

The 21-year-old kicked a goal, took four marks, laid nine tackles which was also a career-high and had five inside 50s to earn the nod as the Round 10 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.

The performance also earned the small forward one coaches vote.

It was Baker’s 10th AFL match and seventh straight this season after cracking his way into the senior team in round 4 against Port Adelaide.

In the NEAFL, former North Albany ruckman Darcy Cameron was again a dominant player for the Sydney Swans reserves. Cameron has not played an AFL game this season but had 23 disposals, four marks and one goal to be among the Swans’ best in their thrashing of Gold Coast on Saturday.

Railways’ Jye Clark and Royals junior Tom Baldwin were named in the Claremont colts best players in round 7 of the WAFL at the weekend. Clark racked up 30 possessions, seven inside 50s and booted two goals as the Tigers won by 28 points.

Baldwin, who was raised in Jerramungup, has produced an impressive last fortnight as finished with 20 touches and laid seven tackles in the win.

Other Great Southern teenagers to feature in the Tigers side were Tom Wolfe and Ted Batchelor.

Railways product Bailey Bennett returned from injury in Claremont’s reserves side on Saturday as they beat Subiaco by 35 points.

Bennett gathered 18 disposals and laid seven tackles in a pleasing performance.

Ex-Albany defender Dylan Smallwood was among Claremont’s best players at league level.

Smallwood took seven marks to go with 15 possessions in a rock-solid defensive display. Subiaco emerged victors by 24 points with Ongerup-bred Angus Litherland in the Lions best contributors.

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