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Baker: It was a proud moment for me and my family

24 August 2022

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Fleetwood Town defender Drew Baker spoke to the local media after making his debut for the Club in their Carabao Cup Second Round tie against Everton.

Premier League side Everton were the visitors to Highbury in midweek, and with Baker named in the starting eleven for the first time this season, it was a moment to cherish for the young centre-half.

After moving from Northern Premier League Premier Division side FC United of Manchester to Fleetwood in January 2022, the 20-year-old was given his first taste of professional football against Frank Lampard's Toffees.

Here's what Baker had to say on his debut.

On the call-up and the match against Everton...

“I was told on Friday that I would be playing, just like everybody else who was called up. I knew Toto [Nsiala] might not be playing and thought there might be a chance for me to play against Everton.

“I was more excited about being chosen than nervous. I didn’t feel the expectation, I just knew I was confident in myself and my own ability. I won’t lie, some nerves did kick in when I was in the dressing room pre-match but once I got out on the pitch, I was more relaxed.

“It was a massive occasion for me to make my debut against Everton. They’re a big Club and that’s why I didn’t feel the expectation, it could have been a sink or swim situation for me but I thought I played against them.

“Everton are a very good side; they could easily make the game very hard for a young player like me, but I just enjoyed the opportunity. If I didn’t play against Everton and it was Lincoln at the weekend, I would expect the same from myself on the pitch."

On the differences playing at this level to non-league...

“The big noticeable difference for me tonight was the speed of the game and also the physicality. It’s very much there in non-league where I have played most of my football, and I have probably learnt a lot during my time at FC United of Manchester. Definitely the speed of the game against Everton was quicker and also the technical and tactical side of things was new to me and the hardest part.

“Coming up against a player like Demarai Gray, you don’t come up against a player of his quality in non-league. Saloman Rondon was a test physically, but you do get that type of player in non-league, a powerful forward and my time against those players in non-league helped me prepare for sure."

On Josh Earl and the support of his family and friends...

“Josh [Earl] is a very good player. He’s full of confidence and he’s an easy player to play with at the back. That is what you want from your centre-half partner. We get on and he’s a great communicator at the back and that comes with trust. I know that he will help me and do the right things at the right times in the game.

“My dad and my brother were at the game, and it was a proud moment for them. My mum and my girlfriend were watching the game at home. 12-months ago I was an I.T Consultant and now I am playing in the first team at Fleetwood against Premier League opposition – for them, my mum and my dad, it’s a proud moment for them.

“I didn’t tell my friends about me playing tonight, my phone hasn’t stopped buzzing. I am quite superstitious, so I only told my dad and my brother on Monday, and I asked them not to tell people, so it was a surprise for them when they saw the team news.

“I just want to continue working hard and keep myself in the managers eye-line. I isn’t thinking about this weekend and Lincoln, all I can do is keep making a good impression."


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