#26 Cale "Thank You Mr" Hooker


#3886

Thrilled he’s in the backline again.
Add Gleeson.
Add Ranga.
Clunk-o-rama.


#3887

Goes where he’s asked to and gives 100%.

Full stop.


#3888

He went forward to help our sputtering forward line in 2015 after AA selection as a backman, now goes back to help out our structures at both ends of the ground. Ultimate team man. There is absolutely no reason why he can’t help us win games this year at either end of the ground, and furthermore no reason why it can’t happen within a game.


#3889

In the very first play of the day, Hooker fed out the first handball off half back, which led to the chain of handballs and Zaka’s kick to Stewart for the first goal. He made Watts look ordinary. Also, as others have pointed out Watts got one of his goals from a free down field. Hooker was superb and was a general in defence.


#3890

That opening quote from Woosha gets me every time :joy::joy:

Hooker’s defensive return
Ben Collins, AFL Media April 15, 2018 6:17 PM

Redeploying swing man Cale Hooker to defence has “a lot of potential” for Essendon, coach John Worsfold says.

Hooker’s move to the backline to help counter Port Adelaide’s tall attack proved important structurally for the rebounding Bombers in their 22-point win over the previously undefeated Power at Etihad Stadium on Sunday night.

Not only did Hooker have 23 possessions and take eight marks but enabled the Bombers to use a nimbler forward line headlined by Jake Stringer’s four goals and James Stewart’s three.

“It’s got a lot of potential to do a lot of things,” Worsfold said of Hooker-in-defence model.

“Hooker can play back for periods, he can swing and go forward at times, as can ‘Hurls’ (Michael Hurley). But it’s early days

“This is the first time we’ve seen an Essendon team with Hooker in the backline and Jake Stringer and James Stewart up forward alongside Joey (Daniher).

“It worked pretty well and it’s got a lot of potential for us.”

Worsfold said he would continue to take a “suck and see” approach to the configuration of the Dons bookends.

“We’re learning about this group, the abilities of it and where it’s going to fit and how it’s best going to function,” he said.

“There’s a few things happening that we’ll keep exploring … We’ll keep measuring what’s our best line-up to become a great team.”

A week after producing a performance against the Western Bulldogs that was as poor a performance as Worsfold had seen from his players in his time as coach – a period including the 2016 season when the club was decimated by a raft of suspensions over the supplements saga – he was pleased with his team’s response.

“Last week we talked about the fact it was disappointing (and) our aim was to understand what we expect from each other, and show it,” he said.

“We can’t go back to last week and worry about why it didn’t happen, but we learnt a lot from (today) …

“It was, ‘Let’s get clear on how we want to play together and let’s bring that.’ So it was a pretty positive week within the club. There was a good feel.

“We can sulk, we can feel the pressure, or we can just look forward to playing the way we want to play …

“We showed that we learn. We responded well to playing below our best last week and we were back a lot closer to our best today.”

Stringer’s best game for his new club drew praise from his coach.

“We feel as though he’s been playing his role reasonably well without dominating games, and we’ve been learning about what he brings to the group,” Worsfold said.

“Today he played his role really well and capitalised to hit the scoreboard, which was really great.”

Worsfold was also pleased with the efforts of young midfielder Zach Merrett, who had been out of sorts after copping a head knock in round one against Adelaide.

Perhaps the only blemish for the Dons was Stewart leaving the field late after appearing to hurt an ankle, however Worsfold was unsure about the extent of the issue.

Key defender Mitch Brown was a late withdrawal with a tight calf but could be available for the Anzac Day clash with Collingwood. Brown’s replacement, Michael Hartley, performed strongly.

Hooker could also come under scrutiny for making late, high contact with Port star Chad Wingard.


#3891

selling candy til the early morn


#3892

He does not lack confidence, even shortly after getting burnt off.


#3893

His work at ground level contested situations, was incredible. Don’t argues, breaking tackles, smart little taps, sidesteps and shimmys…

His aerial skills weren’t even needed.


#3894

Was great today, he is just a great player at either end. I don’t want to see him just stay there though. I hope the coaches use his flexibility and put him fwd at times. It changes the whole dynamic of the team structure, which would make us very hard to coach against.

We need to become a less predictable team, today was a step in the right direction in achieving this.


#3895

when are carl and tim firing up their podcast again?


#3896

Haven’t seen the replay but is he in strife with his hit in Wingard?


#3897

Wasn’t a hit, it was an attempted smothered handball that dragged down onto his face.
Shouldn’t be an issue, but you never know with Tribunal chook lotto.


#3898

No chance…accidental contact


#3899

No.


#3900

Hooker back… we kick our highest score for the year.

Maybe the move improved both the backline and the forwardline?


#3902

hehehe…


#3903

I really like Hooker forward. 41 goals from 21 games is a great return from a guy who is not a natural in that position. But you look at the goal-to-goal line when he returns to defence and it’s got to be top 4 in the AFL.

FB: Hurley
CHB: Hooker
C: Heppell
CHF: Daniher
FF: Stringer

All 5 are All-Australian players. The defence looks far, far better with Cale being there, and you get the best of Stringer working deep forward. It had to happen, it did happen, and you have to say it has to remain so.


#3904

If Stewart keeps playing the way he is, we might have found another one.


#3905

Gilbert Gardiner thinkw hooker played on Dixon. These guys don’t even try to watch do they?


#3906

I’ll admit I’m not convinced yet, since I thought Port were very poor and our midfield won, but he certainly did a lot of good stuff and Stewart/Stringer stepped up well.

Does Collingwood have any talls, or will we need to reconsider Hooker/Hurley/Hartley for them?