WITH six years as coach of a NAB League side, two years at the Hawthorn Football Club and over a decade in teaching, it’s no surprise that Torin Baker’s newly-established position at Carlton is perfect for him.
Baker officially joined Carlton earlier this week as the Carlton College of Sport and Academy Coach, a multi-faceted role which will also include a senior development position within the Club’s VFL program.
Taking ownership of the new Carlton College of Sport (CCoS) Football Development Program as well as having oversight over the Carlton Academy, Baker will have an active coaching component of an all-encompassing role.
Speaking to Carlton Media, the former coach of the Western Jets said he couldn’t wait to get his teeth sunk into the new position.
“I’ll be working across a lot of different departments within the footy club: not only the VFL and AFL system, but also the Football Development Program with the Carlton College of Sport which is a really exciting initiative,” Baker said.
“I’m working across a lot of areas but one of the things that was most exciting about coming to the Club was the variety in the role.”
In terms of his role in the Club’s own development space, Baker will be a line coach for the Blues’ reserves side, while also working AFL training sessions depending on availability.
He envisaged that his role within the football department would be particularly hands on over the pre-season, before shifting his focus to a combined VFL/CCoS role come the start of the university year in March.
Baker spent six years at the helm of the Jets in the NAB League, before taking on a development coaching role at Hawthorn come the end of 2018.
“The role has that real exposure at the top end but working with a wide variety of footballers, which is a real passion of mine to work with footballers across their lifespan,” he said.
“It gives you a really good picture as a coach to be able to help them with their development and know where they come from, so that’s something I’ll continue to do and something I’ve had pretty good experience in.
“I felt like I really learnt well under the NAB League system. Once I was reaching the point where I needed to learn again, I went into the AFL system and I was really fortunate to get a position at Hawthorn.
“Obviously COVID stuck and there were changes to coaching positions and the football landscape in general. I feel very fortunate to be able to land this position and very fortunate that Carlton has given me such a great opportunity.”
It hasn’t taken Baker long to get started, officially commencing in the role on Monday 16 November.
He’ll reunite with a few familiar faces in the coming weeks, having coached new Blue Lachie Fogarty at the Western Jets, taught Josh Honey and Sam Ramsay at the Maribyrnong Sports Academy and being a family friend of the Walshes.
It was a funny one: I said to my wife that it was a role that ticks a lot of the boxes for me with my experience. That made it really desirable for me," he said.
“I’ll be doing a bit of background work with the Carlton College of Sport [now], but realistically the university year is more March to September.
“I’ll be doing a lot of work with the AFL program through the pre-season and then as we head more into the year, I’ll be working more with the VFL and the Carlton College of Sport knowing that there’ll be a number of players going back from the AFL to play in the VFL.”