From Pingaring in Western Australia to an AFL Premiership player, Liam Baker's story is one of perseverance and dedication.
Baker grew up on a wheat and sheep farm in Pingaring, WA, a town 340km east of Perth. After deciding to take up junior football with Lake Grace-Pingrup FC, he and his parents made the weekly trip of 60km + for him to do so. After showcasing talent at the junior level, he went on to play for West Perth in the WAFL Colts Competition and also attended the prestigious, Perth College, Aquinas. In 2016, Baker represented WA at the AFL Under 18 Championships, where his performances at the carnival warranted him an invite to the AFL National Combine. Although he tested strongly, Baker was overlooked in the draft. After the disappointment, Baker recognized the need to improve his skills and also his physical capabilities. He made the decision to switch across to play for Subiaco in the WAFL Competition; a deicison which eventually had him drafted to Richmond with pick 18 in the 2018 AFL Rookie Draft in November 2017.
After spending majority of his debut season developing at VFL level, the versatile small eventually forced his way into the Tigers best 22 in Round 19 of the 2018 season against Collingwood. In his 3 games at AFL level and 14 games at VFL level in his first season, Baker showed enough and earned himself a contract extension on the rookie list at the club 2019 was his break out year, playing 19 games across the season. This also included the club’s Grand Final victory over the Giants. Baker has been effective in positions all over the ground, from half forward, to half back, and wing. He is noted for his corralling and tackle pressure, while also takes clean possession and rarely fumbles.