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Liam Baker recognised as Most Courageous Player at the AFL Players’ Association’s MVP Awards

Calvin SimsNarrogin Observer
Richmond’s Liam Baker is interviewed by Patrick Dangerfield after winning The AFL Players’ Association MVP Most Courageous Award.
Camera IconRichmond’s Liam Baker is interviewed by Patrick Dangerfield after winning The AFL Players’ Association MVP Most Courageous Award. Credit: AFL Photos via Getty Images

Pingaring-raised Liam Baker has been rewarded for his outstanding courage across the 2022 AFL season, winning the Robert Rose award for the Most Courageous Player in the AFL.

Baker received his award at the AFL Players’ Association MVP Awards last Wednesday, ahead of Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard and Melbourne’s Jack Viney.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Baker reflected on his journey from Pingaring to the AFL.

“It’s (Pingaring) a long way from Punt Road, it’s a long way from Perth, let alone the flight over here,” Baker said.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Liam Baker of the Tigers  reacts during the round 23 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Richmond Tigers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 20, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Camera IconRichmond’s Liam Baker marks. Credit: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos

“The local big tree is somewhere where everyone gets together, has a drink and shares some stories.

“The Pingaring tree is what Pingaring’s known for it’s a great place and I’m proud of it.”

Baker said he had to battle through the doubts of being too small to play at an elite level in the early stages of his career.

“Early days, I believed the stories that I was too small but I had a lot of coaches saying don’t worry about it,” he said.

“It took a while to change that mindset but I don’t really want to be a big guy, I’m rapt being small.”

Across his 22 home-and-away games this season, the dynamic Tiger averaged 19 disposals, 11 kicks, seven contested possessions, nine handballs, three inside-50s and five score involvements.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24:  Jeremy Cameron of the Cats and Shai Bolton of the Tigers speak after being selected in the 2022 AFL All Australian team during the 2022 AFL Awards at Centrepiece on August 24, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Camera IconMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Jeremy Cameron of the Cats and Shai Bolton of the Tigers speak after being selected in the 2022 AFL All Australian team during the 2022 AFL Awards at Centrepiece on August 24, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images) Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Katanning-born Shai Bolton also capped a wonderful season with the Tigers, earning his first All-Australian honour.

Bolton was named at half-forward in the 22-man All-Australian team for 2022.

The 22-year-old has averages of 18 disposals, four clearances, two tackles and two goals this season.

Baker and Bolton will both feature in the Tigers elimination final against Brisbane at the Gabba on Thursday night.

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