After a season rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and personal tragedy, Pingaring’s Liam Baker is one step away from adding another premiership to his already remarkable career. Baker was overlooked in two drafts while playing for Subiaco in the WAFL before Richmond took a chance on him, going on to become a premiership player from the rookie list after last year’s grand final triumph. Now the exciting defender will play in his second straight AFL decider as the Tigers face Geelong on the biggest stage on Saturday. After losing their qualifying final, the Tigers had to beat St Kilda in the semifinal and then Port Adelaide in last Friday’s preliminary final to keep their hopes of a third flag in four seasons alive. For Baker, 2020 has been a challenging one personally after the loss of a close friend brought about one of two unexpected trips home to WA. “We finally got here again, it is all pretty exciting to be a part of another grand final,” Baker said. “‘Strange’ is probably the right word to describe this season. “We have had a lot of different stuff thrown our way, as has everyone in Australia. “Knowing we had to go away, losing that final and then taking the harder road here, but Dimma (Damien Hardwick) has always kept us thinking about the positives. “It has been a tough year in plenty of ways. “The passing of one of my best mates was really tough.” Baker has been a revelation for the Tigers this season, and despite playing only 41 games in his short AFL career, he will get a chance at a second premiership medallion. “I’ve said this plenty of times before but right place at the right time when I came to Richmond,” he said. “Trying to find a spot in the team was tough but once you are in, you have great players around you. “Game day is the best day of the week and we love being out there. “I’m one of the luckiest guys in footy. “I’ll be nervous, but not until later in the week. “Thinking back, I can’t really remember much of grand final week last year, except that it was pretty exciting, and I’m feeling that again this week. “Geelong are a pretty good team but hopefully we do enough to get over the line.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baker’s family and friends won’t be at the Gabba. Instead, his parents, along with his sisters and friends, will watch on from their Pingaring farm. “It is a bit sad in a way that they can’t be here but what do you do?” he said. “It is just the way the year is. “I think my sisters, Mum and Dad will be watching at home.” Baker has averaged just under 15 disposals and four marks a game this season and will look to nullify the impact of the Cats’ half-forwards. “I will just enjoy the week for what it is,” he said. “I will take a high half forward, Gryan Myers or Luke Dalhalus are the ones that get up the ground normally. “I will try and give a bit more run off half-back and look to use the ball well ... and my composure has improved this year. “When you have Bachar Houli and Jayden Short across the same line, it’s a good place to be.” Baker will return home at the end of the season to work on the family farm.