There’s no generation gap when Bakers share same netball goal

CAMPERDOWN coach Tracey Baker is about to give new meaning to quality family time when her 13-year-old daughter Chelsea makes her A grade netball debut today.

Camperdown coach Tracey Baker (left) will be joined on court today by her daughter Chelsea, 13. 140627RG30 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Camperdown coach Tracey Baker (left) will be joined on court today by her daughter Chelsea, 13. 140627RG30 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

They enter a rare club of mother-and-daughter combinations to take the court together in a Hampden league A grade match.

Tracey Baker said Chelsea and another teenager, Stephanie Smart, had been elevated to the Magpies’ line- up for today’s match against Warrnambool at Reid Oval because another teenage goalie Emily Finch was on a school trip in Vietnam.

“It’s pretty exciting,” the 40-year-old midcourter said.

They have been playing in the same women’s team in domestic netball at Camperdown and Tracey said her daughter was up for the challenge.

“She’s tall and she’s got a fairly athletic body,” she said.

“I’m not too worried about it. I’ve played netball with her in the local competition and she can hold her own.”

Baker intends to start Smart alongside 19-year-old goalie Jaymie Finch, before introducing Chelsea later in the match.

While Chelsea is eligible to play in 13 and unders, she has played exclusively this season in the Magpies’ 15 and under side, which is coached by Leah Sinnott.

Baker made her A grade debut when she was 14 in an era where there were no junior grades.

Chelsea, a 12 and under state representative last year, said she had been keen to play at the elite level. 

She revealed she was delighted to outdo her mother by a year in making her A grade debut but she knows who’s boss today, vowing to follow her mother’s instructions.

“I’ve wanted to play a senior game young,” she said.

“I’m excited.

“I’m a little bit nervous.  Hopefully my goals drop.”

She said playing alongside her mother was significant but also important.

“I will have more confidence with mum there,” Chelsea said.

The Bakers are among a select few mother-and-daughter combinations to play alongside each other in an A grade match in the league’s 28-year netball history. 

The list includes Koroit co-coach Kate Dobson and her mother Helen Gleeson, who famously shared the court when the Saints won their first A grade premiership in 2001, and Elaine Peake, who played alongside daughters Jacqui and Laura on separate occasions at Warrnambool in the mid 1990s.