Not even a loss can spoil this W-League debutant’s birthday

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It’s not everyday you turn 18 and make your home-town professional sporting debut all at once.

This was the case for Perth Glory fresh-faced Taneesha Baker who didn’t let the comprehensive 6-2 defeat to Sydney FC spoil her big day.

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Supported by a crowd of school friends and family and donning a very fitting number 18 jersey, the young forward came out blazing for her debut W-League home ground appearance at Dorrien Gardens on Thursday evening.

“Ever since I was young I’ve always wanted to play for Glory and then to finally get that opportunity especially in front of the home crowd its really good,” she said.

“Even if you made a mistake everyone (in the crowd) would back you up, get behind you and just push you even harder.”

Baker joins the squad on an injury-replacement contract following Gemma Craine’s hamstring injury acquired in the squads round two clash against Adelaide United which ruled her out for the remainder of the season.

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Though the new addition isn’t a stranger to the team, having trained with them last season as part of the extended squad, she confessed her nerves in coming in to fill Craine’s boots.

“Gemma is such a brilliant player, but it just makes me more determined to try and play just as well as she plays,” she said.

Rising to the challenge, the NPLW WA star has shown promise in her three W-League caps with several chances at goal and excellent hustle in all areas of the field.

Despite her professionalism on the field, Baker admitted birthday celebrations would be underway this weekend with a night on the town, a much needed reward for a busy and exciting time in this youngster’s football career.

Featured image credit: Peter Hugg

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Breanna Redhead
WA based student journalist, covering Perth Glory for the 2020/21 A-League season
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