#26 Cale "Thank You Mr" Hooker


#3585

Hooksy get the highlights package treatment.

Good on ya, Chooker!


#3586

I love him.

That mark in 4th clip is so fkn good. The value on someone being able to do that amongst so many in a fwd line is immense.

Need to clone him though to play back also.

Will kick 50 next year and be a top 10 fwd in league


#3587

Great story and his capacity to reinvent himself is inspiring.
We’ve got him for another 4 years too.
Contested marking king, no matter where he plays.
Just needs to look after his body as he hits his 30’s.
Can ill afford to have him on the sidelines.


#3588

It just cracks me up how lethal he is snapping off either foot


#3589

Flag


#3590

It’s the shot from 50 on the run from the boundary line after pointing to a team mate to block for him that gets me every time.

He will be bragging about that one over a glass of Hooker Shiraz for years.


#3591

Anyone love a goal as a much as hooker?


#3592

Loved it! Strong hands - loves a goal! Thanks for posting. We can win a flag… soon!


#3593

LID OFF!

We are going to win MANY flags soon!


#3594

Conor goes close with his goal against Gold Coast.


#3595

Personally I’d prefer him back because he’ll improve our backline significantly. But no doubt he has proven to be very effective as a forward and provides excellent support for Joe. So the argument to keep him forward makes sense. Obviously we can always use him as a swing man to throw him back if the backline needs help. If Stewart gets better and Stringer stars as a forward then we have a bounty of options for the forward line.


Cale Hooker’s 2018 position

Callum Twomey

Essendon made the bold decision to move All Australian defender Cale Hooker to the forward line last year in a switch that was a success.

But, with a focus on improving their defence and conceding less next year, the Bombers can’t be quite as fixed with the 29-year-old’s spot in 2018.

John Worsfold turned Essendon into an attacking and exciting team last season that – finally – could score. In 2017, the Bombers passed triple figures in 11 games. In the previous three seasons, including when they made the finals in 2014, they managed that feat a combined 10 times.

Hooker was a big part of that, not only for the 41 goals he kicked but the structure he provided. Because of his ability in the air, Hooker was always a threat. His presence made it harder for defenders to zone off and double team Joe Daniher, Essendon’s primary target and match-winning goalkicker.

However, the addition of Jake Stringer at Essendon, plus the emergence of last year’s recruit James Stewart as a genuine goalkicker and tall forward option, means the Bombers can take a more horses-for-courses approach with Hooker.

Essendon’s backline set up last year saw the Bombers try to isolate Michael Hurley as much as possible to patrol the defensive 50 and set up rebound. He is clearly one of the club’s most important players, and the plan to get the ball in his hands more worked: he averaged a career-high 25 disposals last season and returned to the All Australian team.

But Essendon’s increased focus on having Hurley play that role meant they often chose to have him play on the second-best key forward. Michael Hartley generally had the responsibility of stopping the main man, with Patrick Ambrose and Mitch Brown also called upon when fit as tall defensive options.

There is no doubt a Hooker and Hurley combination would be a better defensive pairing. But Worsfold and the Bombers believe the net result of Hooker playing forward is a better outcome than having him back.

Worsfold, set to head into his third season at the helm of Essendon next year, says the club is planning to have Hooker in the forward line and Mark Harvey, the Bombers’ defensive assistant, said pre-Christmas he isn’t expecting to have Hooker in his group in 2018.

Footballers crave continuity and the idea of moving from one end of the ground to the other one week (or quarter) to the next might not sit comfortably with Hooker. But for the sake of Essendon becoming a tougher team to score against, they could use their All Australian defender more in his most natural habitat next year.

Defence is now an all-ground effort, but it still relies on the best possible backline being assembled, and Essendon’s forward line should be able to cope without Hooker if he is pushed back intermittently.

Stringer is likely to spend more time in the midfield, but the Bombers would still be hoping for more than 30 goals out of the Western Bulldogs premiership star. Stringer is good enough overhead to be a marking target if Hooker is not the get-out kick close to goal.

Small forwards Orazio Fantasia and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti combined for 73 goals last year and should only improve their output. And Daniher would be one of the early Coleman Medal favourites after booting a career-high 65 goals last season.

With Hurley, Hooker and Daniher at his disposal, Worsfold has a great hand of talls at his disposal. Hooker being pushed back is a card that could be played a little more next year.


#3596

Hooker was often going back in quarters in the latter stages of the year. Its not anything new


#3597

But but he’s a forward now.


#3598

If many other teams rush to adopt the Richmond model, there will only be one tall forward for us to defend. So why send Hooker back? We will need more mobile type medium defenders to intercept between the centre square and the defensive 50. If this happens, players like Hurls, Ambrose, Saad, Gleeson , and Francis will be better. Hooksy is just OK if the ball comes to ground.


#3599

Doesnt really matter what Twomey thinks.

Woosh. Harvey. Hep. All said he is playing fwd.

A 50 goal contested marking kpf is more valuable to us than him going back & saving an extra goal or taking a few more intercept marks than Hartley.


#3600

Great sentence Cal.


#3601

That’s dismissive of Hooker’s quality as a defender. He’s not just a goal and some intercept marks better than Hartley any more than Joe is just a goal and a couple of assists better than Stewart.

If you want to run the “best for the team” argument that’s fine and justifiable, but Hooker as a defender was a world apart from Hartley.


#3602

Strange to think that we’ve been discussing about this since 2015 and it is nearly 2018 now. Obviously, missing the 2016 season didn’t help, but it has been made clear: he is going no where.

I’m expecting him to kick more than 40 goals next year, and Daniher 70.


#3603

Joe Dan is more likely to drift back than Hooker these days.


#3604

Agreed. Downplayed his impact.

The club had wanted to have him back again hence the big push for Patton & JRiewoldt in previous years.

Be interesting to see if something similar happens if Hartley doesn’t come on to level they hope.