Baker, Bolton and English chase AFL finals glory with respective teams

Cameron NewboldGreat Southern Herald
Richmond young gun Liam Baker.
Camera IconRichmond young gun Liam Baker. Credit: Getty Images

Homegrown trio Liam Baker, Shai Bolton and Tim English are all expected to play in week one of the AFL finals series that begins tonight.

Baker hails from Pingaring and has enjoyed a terrific season with Richmond across half-back.

The 22-year-old was recently named in the AFL Players Association’s 2020 22Under22 team, on a half-back flank.

The 22Under22 team is selected from an initial 40-man squad and is voted on by the fans.

The AFL Players’ Board selects the squad of 40 players and then fans vote on the final 22, with each selected player presented with a 22Under22 jumper.

After being picked up in the 2018 rookie draft, Baker was part of the Tigers’ 2019 premiership triumph and has played 16 matches this season to take his career tally to 38 games.

Richmond’s Liam Baker in action this season.
Camera IconRichmond’s Liam Baker in action this season. Credit: Matt Roberts/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Baker, who was a junior with Lake Grace-Pingrup, will play a key role in the Tigers defence as they prepare to take on the Brisbane Lions in a qualifying final tomorrow night at the Gabba.

Katanning-born Bolton was in the squad of 40 for the 22Under22 team after a breakout season in the Tigers midfield but missed out on a place in the final 22.

Bolton is expected to be available for selection after a recent calf injury and could come straight back into the Tigers midfield. Also a premiership player in 2019, the 21-year-old has played 15 games this season where he is averaging more than 16 disposals per game.

Richmond midfielder Shai Bolton.
Camera IconRichmond midfielder Shai Bolton. Credit: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Pingelly product English will be in action for the Western Bulldogs as they face St Kilda in an elimination final on Saturday afternoon.

The 23-year-old ruckman played for Brookton-Pingelly before going on to a career in the AFL.

The Bulldogs primary ruckman, English has averaged more than 13 disposals per game this season.

Bulldogs’ Tim English soars above Eagles’ Tom Hickey this season.
Camera IconBulldogs’ Tim English soars above Eagles’ Tom Hickey this season. Credit: Matt Roberts/AFL Photos via Getty Images

He has played 17 matches for the Dogs in 2020 and will be up against Saints duo Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall in the sudden-death final, also to be played at the Gabba.

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