Player Watch #48: Liam Baker

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Marcel Proust

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Smaller than Meatball, but he's comparable in size to Shai. Not to mention two of our greatest mids in history - KB, who was 2kg heavier, 2cm taller, or Flea who was 3cm shorter and 2kg lighter.

I guess you could argue that they were from a different era and therefore the comparison is not valid, but I'd tend to place more emphasis on the fact that they played in an era where it was legal to literally bury your opponent - and plenty tried to bury both. Every game Baker throws himself willingly into physicality which is no tougher than a midfield gig.

As Twain said:

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. ;)
Fair points but shai is fairly unique campaigner
 

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Tiger_Of_Old

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Ask keith kindly and he may make you a gif.

Tbf I'd be shitting bricks too if I was running blind into Charlie dixon.

Not a big deal cause baker is hard as nails and cannon balls himself around.
I've watched it 100 times.lol
Think i've seen Dixon once.lol
 

juss

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Gets me frustrated this.
How many times does it have to be told that our smalls are not there just to kick goals.In fact its a bonus.
Pressure Pressure Pressure is our system and their all part of it.
My post does not even contain the word "goals".

Baker would still be our best small forward, not only is his pressure, contest appetite and tackling excellent, he would also easily be the best of them offensively and with the ball.

What frustrates me is that some people think a small forward can't do both....
 

Grrr

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My post does not even contain the word "goals".

Baker would still be our best small forward, not only is his pressure, contest appetite and tackling excellent, he would also easily be the best of them offensively and with the ball.

What frustrates me is that some people think a small forward can't do both....
Cotchin could perhaps extend his career down there as well if he rested there more often. Although small forwards do a lot of running, it is not to the same level as in the midfield. Cotchin, Bolton, Edwards, Martin, Baker, vs Castagna, Rioli and Aarts.

Maurice Rili Jnr looks a very lively prospect as a small forward though, and he will get a game sooner than later I think as he has been named in the emergencies a couple of times already. A bit of VFL form first.
 

Tiger_Of_Old

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My post does not even contain the word "goals".

Baker would still be our best small forward, not only is his pressure, contest appetite and tackling excellent, he would also easily be the best of them offensively and with the ball.

What frustrates me is that some people think a small forward can't do both....
Sure our smalls can do both but the essence of our game is pressure based.
People Pot Rioli & George but they don't see the big picture.
 

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Grrr

Norm Smith Medallist
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Sure our smalls can do both but the essence of our game is pressure based.
People Pot Rioli & George but they don't see the big picture.
Yes pressure builds goals, but so do class players playing in those same positions. Martin and Bolton resting forward for example create a lot more heat on the defence than do Rioli and Aarts because of their talent. You think that Edwards, Cotchin and Baker wouldn't put as much pressure on Arts/Rioli/Castagna?
 

Tiger_Of_Old

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Yes pressure builds goals, but so do class players playing in those same positions. Martin and Bolton resting forward for example create a lot more heat on the defence than do Rioli and Aarts because of their talent. You think that Edwards, Cotchin and Baker wouldn't put as much pressure on Arts/Rioli/Castagna?
Different level of class Martin/Bolts & Sheds bring to the fwd line as you say compared too George etc.I like the idea of playing Baker fwd but i like him in the middle as well.Cotch can play wherever he wants.lol
I like our mix of Class and Workman like in our fwd line.Helped us get 3 flags so far so its working.
 

Rayzorwire

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Fair points but shai is fairly unique campaigner
Yeah, Shai's got that wiry, tough frame so many Indigenous players do and is too quick for nearly everyone to catch.

Still, the last word I'd use for Baker would be 'fragile' - he's got a really nuggety build which belies his height/weight stats and I'd love to see his tackling and pressure acts put to best use in the centre square down the track.
 

Rayzorwire

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Cotchin could perhaps extend his career down there as well if he rested there more often. Although small forwards do a lot of running, it is not to the same level as in the midfield. Cotchin, Bolton, Edwards, Martin, Baker, vs Castagna, Rioli and Aarts.

Maurice Rili Jnr looks a very lively prospect as a small forward though, and he will get a game sooner than later I think as he has been named in the emergencies a couple of times already. A bit of VFL form first.

I'd be hugely surprised to not see him included for Dreamtime.

It'll absolutely bring the house down when he runs out, there won't be a dry eye from the Tiwi's to Triabunna among those of us not lucky enough to be there.

The headline in the HUN next morning will read "Rioli double-act utterly destroys Dons." :thumbsu::richmond:
 

PaulBulluss

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Yeah, Shai's got that wiry, tough frame so many Indigenous players do and is too quick for nearly everyone to catch.

Still, the last word I'd use for Baker would be 'fragile' - he's got a really nuggety build which belies his height/weight stats and I'd love to see his tackling and pressure acts put to best use in the centre square down the track.
Shai's ability to side-step, evade and shrug tackles is second to none. Last season, when he started playing more in the middle, early in games he'd often get caught HTB or the ball would get knocked out. But he adjusted and now he makes tacklers look foolish.

His leap is something to behold, too.

I'm pretty sure Baker was an inside mid back in WA. Not sure he's overly nuggety, he's just tough as nails, bounces back up after every contest, ready to go again. He's the perfect example of a player who has learned to play and survive against bigger bodies.

Pick 18 in the 2018 rookie draft. Same one Collingwood took Mihocek. I don't think anyone else from that crop has done anything.
 
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Rayzorwire

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Shai's ability to side-step, evade and shrug tackles is second to none. Last season, when he started playing more in the middle, early in games he'd often get caught HTB or the ball would get knocked out. But he adjusted and now he makes tacklers look foolish.

His leap is something to behold, too.

I'm pretty sure Baker was an inside mid back in WA. Not sure he's overly nuggety, he's just tough as nails, bounces back up after every contest, ready to go again. He's the perfect example of a player who has learned to play and survive against bigger bodies.

Pick 18 in the 2018 rookie draft. Same one Collingwood took Mihocek. I don't think anyone else from that crop has done anything.

No doubt, Shai is the kind of mid we really haven't had in the modern era with his combination of pace and evasiveness. Not to mention his capacity forward both at ground level and in the air. His potential both short and long term excites me more than any other player on our list.

Yeah, fair call, "nuggety" is probably a poor selection of word when considering it would be more commonly used for the likes of Meatball and Mitchell, it was more to convey the fact I don't think he has a skinny build, he's plenty solid.

Absolutely loved this photo last week of the boys under discussion in action:

 

tora tora tora

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Andyy

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I didn't tape that game that I can find, so I'll have to watch it the app which will suck. Fwiw it was on wing/hbf closer to camera with port attacking west of the tv so I reckon in 2nd or 4thq

Iirc the comments gurus called it out
I remember it. He pulled out once and I don't blame him. He usually doesn't but it's not always worth getting cleaned up. Dixon is a mountain of a man.

By and large he is a tough and courageous player.
 

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