Baker impresses in Red Devils debut

LAST Saturday Miles Baker made his first senior appearance for the Ballarat Red Devils in round seven of the National Premier Leagues Victoria.

It was a dream debut in front of a huge home crowd against one of the strongest non professional clubs in Australia - and he didn't disappoint.

Miles Baker made his senior debut for the Ballarat Red Devils last Saturday in the jumper of club great Scott Anwyl.

Miles Baker made his senior debut for the Ballarat Red Devils last Saturday in the jumper of club great Scott Anwyl.

The 16-year-old took to the field with 25 minutes left in the Red Devils' 2-1 loss to South Melbourne and looked for all the world like a 200-game veteran

Baker received the call up after progressing through the club's junior academy and impressing in four under-20 matches at the start of the season.

"I was very nervous in the change rooms before the match but by the time James Robinson (Red Devils player manager) gave me the nod to go on I was okay," he said.

"I just got out there and got the ball and tried to do my best to help the team get a result.

"Sadly we weren't able to get a goal to steal a point but I thought that we played well against the top team."

The St Patrick's College student was honoured with the number 12 shirt for his debut match - the top that previously belonged to club great Scott Anwyl.

Anwyl passed away in 2001 and the club had since retired the jumper out of respect for his family.

From now on it will be handed to one junior Red Devil per year.

"Scott would say that he wasn't the most skilful player of all time but he always gave 100% every no matter what the situation or score," Red Devils chairman Duncan Smith said.

"I played at the Red Devils with Scott for a number of years and he worked very hard on his game to play over 250 matches for the club.

"We will be giving his shirt to the junior Red Devil who works the hardest on their own game and shows the same determination."

Baker was not the only player to make his senior debut for the club last Saturday, with fellow youngster Ibrahim Ghulami and Adrian Curtain also taking to the pitch as substitutes.

Despite his impressive performance Baker is likely to resume playing with the under-20 side for this week's match as Shaun Romein and Nelson Salvatore look set to return from suspension and injury respectively.

"If I'm in then great and if I'm not then I will go back (to the under-20s) and play the best I can," Baker said.

Ballarat will play Port Melbourne on Saturday night in round eight of the NPLV.

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