2017 Draft Profile - Liam Baker

 
With three days until the 2017 AFL Draft, focus turns to the Subiaco senior program and profiles of some the best available mature players at this year’s draft.
 
Subiaco’s credentials as being the number one club for second chances and mature aged recruits could add another notch at this year’s draft, with small forward Liam Baker squarely in the minds of recruiters after a strong first season with the Subiaco senior team.
 
Baker after missing out on selection in last year’s draft was looking for regular senior football opportunities and Subiaco ended up being the best choice that Baker could make. After breaking into the Subiaco senior team early in the year, Baker held his spot across the year outside of missing a month of football through injury.
 
Baker was a pivotal contributor up forward where both his intense pressure and workrate along with a prowess to impact the scoreboard made him a key part of the Subiaco team that won through to a fourth straight Grand final.
 
The culmination to his performances in 2017 saw him score an invitation to this year’s WA State Combine on October 19, which required at least two AFL clubs to have shown interest in him.
 
It follows his invitation to the AFL National Combine last year, when at least five AFL clubs had shown interest in him, and he believes some of the lessons he learnt helped him.
It certainly did help, with Baker registering an elite 21.5 in the yo-yo endurance test.
 
Still only 19-years-old, Baker’s best will be amazing to see. He is a proven goalkicker, provides elite defensive pressure and he has the ability to push into the midfield. The sky is the limit for the young star from Lake Grace.
 
WHAT THEY SAY
 
WHAT THE COACH SAYS:
We thought he was good enough to play League footy at our club and he's super-driven to want to improve his game. Liam's tenacious, he's hard-at-it and he's a competitive little man. For a bloke of his stature, he's not afraid to mix it with the bigger boys.
 
WHAT THE FOOTBALL MANAGER SAYS:
Liam has been a great addition to the club this year. He quickly integrated among the group and is well respected among the playing group for his willingness to work hard and play above his stature. His willingness to actively try and do more to improve his game is a credit to the character he possesses.
 
WHAT THE SCOUT SAYS:
Despite his size, Baker has proven to possess outstanding defensive traits with his ability to tackle, harass and pressure crucial to Subiaco’s forward success. With recent success in the AFL modelled on intense forward pressure from small forwards, Baker fits the bill being able to step in and give an AFL side exactly what they need to succeed.
 
WHAT THE TEAMMATE SAYS:
Bakesy is the type of player every premiership side needs, he applies immense pressure to opposition backlines and has a knack for kicking goals on either side of his body. Every teammate loves him because he has a tenacious attitude and he is all about the team and not the individual. Whoever picks him will reap the rewards of a hardworking, dedicated and team player who is ready for the next level.
 
WHAT LIAM SAYS:
Jarrad Schofield and Andrew Lockyer have been awesome, the faith they’ve had in me is just incredible, whether it was Locks last year in the 18s, he gave me a good run and Schoey this year. They must’ve seen something and given me the chance and I just wanted to repay them and hopefully, I did the best I can. They’re two guys who I respect very highly.
 
FINAL THOUGHTS
Forward Pressure
– Has proven to be elite at WAFL level in terms of applying forward pressure
Speed
– Has quick speed off the mark and a deceiving turn of pace
Endurance
– Has a strong tank that is well suited to the modern AFL game as a forward

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