When I first met Liam after he arrived at Punt Road ahead of the 2018 season, he stuck out as someone who wanted to get to work straight away.
He was a year older than the other boys he was drafted with that year and understood the hard work that lay ahead of him to break into the Tigers side.
I knew straight away that he was the kind of person who was geared for hard work and wanted to make it as an AFL footballer.
Liam’s a pretty funny kid and full of confidence. He’s the kind of person who loves having a joke and is able to get a laugh out of everyone. The boys love having him around because he brings such a positive vibe to the group.
He’s well respected around the club for the way he goes about his footy.
Although he missed out in his draft year, he went away and worked on what he needed to in order to give himself the best shot at an AFL career. He’s still a rookie but you can see the way he works and the effort he puts in at training and on game day that he wants to improve himself.
Our forward line is a tough group to crack into so he’s had to work hard for his spot but it shows how well he’s settled to be able to play consistent footy this year.
He’s enjoying himself on the field and it’s because he’s playing Liam Baker footy. As a group we just want him to play his role and he’s doing exactly that – he’s getting on the scoreboard, having fun and celebrating the little wins.
I always knew he was capable of making it but it was a matter of getting an opportunity. Now that he has, he’s making everyone realise that he can play at the elite level.
We moved in together earlier this year and he’s been a great housemate so far.
I’m still trying to get him into clean habits but I love coming home to the good vibe he brings our house.
We share the load with our household duties and Liam fancies himself with the BBQ so I leave that up to him.
He lived on his own for a bit in WA so he hasn’t come to Melbourne really raw and lacking skill but he certainly likes to crack into new things in the kitchen.
One of them being the way he makes French toast.
Now, I’m not a French toast man myself but when I saw Liam making it and adding tomato sauce I thought it was a bit different. That’s just Liam.
There’s a lot of stories I could share about him and that’s part of the reason I wanted to live with him because we get along so well, but one stands out.
Liam loves to cut his own hair and leave his mullet. Despite my best efforts over the past five months to encourage him to get rid of it, he’s adamant that it stays.
He refuses to go to a barber. Instead, he stands in the backyard with his clippers cutting his own hair.
Being part of Richmond hasn’t changed him. He’s still the same Liam Baker from country WA.
AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES IN 2019
Round 10 – Liam Baker (Richmond)