All Australian – Can he find consistency?

Big Ben - a man on a missionWho would have thought that only twelve months ago Essendon was shopping Cale Hooker around in the trade period to no avail? Fast Forward twelve months and Hooker is smiling all the way into the off season earning himself his first All Australian selection in the back pocket off a pretty decent season and cementing his spot in the Dons backline for years to come.

There is no hiding from the fact that Hooker is now an important player in the Essendon backline. He had an incredible first half of season 2014 punching out some solid numbers early, however he did taper off a bit towards the end of another frustrating year for the club.

With the Bombers being issued with show cause notices… again, will it affect their ability to field a competitive side in 2015? It will be mostly familiar faces in the backline down at Windy Hill however with addition of Gwilt, one must wonder how they all fit?

2015 Price: $424,400
2015 Position: DEF
Games last season: 22
Average last season: 78.95
100+ games last season: 6
Sub 80 games last season: 14
Price range last season: $417K – $340K
Missed games last season: Didn’t miss a game
Significant history: Ranked 3rd in total marks
Ranked 18th in time on ground percentage
Drafted at pick 54, 2007 draft

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Hooker’s first half of last season was well above his average output having tonned up in six of his first eight games. But if you look from a purely Supercoach perspective, by round nine he stopped being relevant all together. Well done to the select few who chose Hooker in their initial line-up, you sure got your value for money early. If you pulled a ‘Johnny Bruin’ and offloaded him in round eight you would have been pretty happy pocketing some easy dollars.

RISK FACTOR

Since he debuted in in 2009, Hooker has been pretty inconsistent. That being said, in 2014 he started to find some great form and cemented his spot in the backline alongside the likes of Hurley and Fletcher. There is also the risk of him being sidelined for a period of time due to the ASADA investigation.

SELECTION PURPOSE

If you were considering bringing Cale Hooker into your team it would be with the intention that he can find some more consistency and produce similar numbers as he did in the first half of season 2014. At the completion of round eight last season, Hooker was averaging 101.75 points per game.

Quite a damning statistic for Hooker is that from round nine onwards, he didn’t score over 100 points again. He had a steady decline in points output and ended the season with a bit of a whimper.

THE GOOD

● A solid defender that loves to take intercept marks
● Plays on the big rigs in the forward line and gets his hand on the pill a fair bit
● Had a decent 2014 campaign and will likely head into next season looking to improve again
● With Hird back as coach, will Carslile puch back again and provide more support?

THE DOWNSIDE

● Inconsistency
● ASADA investigation infractions
● Terrible averages at the bigger grounds like the MCG and SCG

THE VERDICT

Although Cale Hooker made it to the All Australian squad this year, he is still way to inconsistent. The Bombers have shown faith in him extending his contract until the end of 2016 and with any luck he might take that next step knowing he has stability in his position. That being said, it is simply too much risk for someone that will be over 400K in my opinion and he is simply not on my radar next season.

No

What are your thoughts on Cale Hooker?

Big Ben

Twitter: @Big_BenFC

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AFL Supercoach Legend Jock ReynoldsThis article has been penned by an elite Supercoach analyst hand picked from the talent pool of the Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Community. He has stood up within our community as a man of fantasy substance, and has displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.


16 Comments

Chicko · 14/11/2014 at 06:52

Top work BB! Agree, I like LJ Hooker in the Bombers back line, but I don't like him for my super coach back line. As you have stated, too inconsistent and for the money there are players who are potential DPPs or players like Enright / Hibberd who are more consistent and I think will get their hand on the pill more often.

General Soreness · 14/11/2014 at 06:59

Great work BB, agree with both you and Chicko on the No for supercoach. Emphatic yes for my Bombers backline!

Itchy Nuts Pieman · 14/11/2014 at 07:25

Great analysis Big Ben. Agree with you all that he doesn’t have a place in SC relevance. Whilst the durability is appealing for a defender the 14 games under 80 is not what anyone needs. Great stuff double B.

Barwick's Soilders · 14/11/2014 at 07:35

Great work BB, I made the horrible decision last year, bringing him in, in rd. 7, worst trade of the year. Yes He started well last year but as you say too inconsistent and I will never make the same mistake again.

throttlefinger · 14/11/2014 at 08:20

Rocking writeup, Double B! I had Cale in my first SC team in 2013 and kept him the whole season (yep, total rook move!). Right before I'd get ready to toss him, he'd get 90+. So I ended up keeping him the whole season…and it was painful! Agree with you that inconsistent and not worth the trouble. Great to have on your team but not your SC team.

@TG_Footy_Tragic · 14/11/2014 at 10:34

Yeah, agree BB.

100% No Way. 400k+ for that level of (in)consistency.. nup

ripping write up mate

Kev · 14/11/2014 at 12:23

Interesting player. Was obviously doing something right R1-8 to average 23 touches, 10 marks and 101.75 SC. Why the drop off? R9-23 he posted double figure marks only once (v 6x R1-8), crossed 20 touches 3 times (6x R1-8) and didn't ton up again for the year (6x R1-8). Maybe the Carlisle experiment up forward gave him more responsibility to stick to his man?

The arrival of Gwilt will free him up a little bit to be the 3rd man up and take those intercept marks. For 426k he is on the watchlist. The potential is there for mine and I'll be watching his role in the preseason.

Nice write up, BB

Dools · 14/11/2014 at 15:15

Well written Big Ben,
Not for me though ASADA ,Litigation, Player mindset, Loss of Bomber Thompson . The Hits just keep on coming to the Club. That has to affect the players even the likes of Brendan Bygoddard.
James Hird – I am in the camp that he has been sacrificed but lets see how the emotion that has carried every one involved after all the court hearings. 18 months plus and counting… I perceive black times for the entire football club! No. not touching any Essendon players until all this stuff is FINALLY over
"To the fridge!!"

jockreynolds · 14/11/2014 at 15:28

another supremely balanced review BB – wonderful. AKA Dools, Dexter, Throtts, Chicko and The General – this particular Hooker is not to my taste. Aside from the ASADAa etc etc.. priced as highly as I see him reaching for most of the season. This Hooker is not quite top of the town quality

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 14/11/2014 at 17:35

    I’ve never seen so many blokes knock back an affordable hooker! God bless Tinder

      Dools · 14/11/2014 at 17:47

      Fridgeless, imperical and funny …Noice LOL

        Itchy Nuts Pieman · 14/11/2014 at 18:35

        Fridgeless no more Dools. I did void the warranty but stage 2 of maintenance did the job. I’m a man of options now. Fridge & esky! Once I worked back to realise the one motor runs both the fridge & freezer it all unravelled. Developing a new business product I will soon be realising which accurately measures what advertising works for companies & what’s doesn’t was an extraordinary challenge. And took me almost 2 years to figure out. The fridge was easy. Nonetheless fridge repairman will be on my CV!

          Dools · 14/11/2014 at 20:15

          I'm very proud of you INP,
          Here's to cold beer ! Cheers mate

          Itchy Nuts Pieman · 14/11/2014 at 20:23

          Looking forward to sharing a cold one or a few with ya Dools over summer. Top of the must do list. To the …. Geez I’m spoilt for choice lol north is the esky south is the fridge. I’ll work towards east & west mini bars. Bring that on

lostlarrikin · 14/11/2014 at 20:06

Nice piece BB.
Has got me curious as to how Hooker's role changed after rnd 8.
Obviously his disposals and marks took a dive but he still seemed to be taking one of the main talls.
Did the opponents just get better?
Did the Bombers stop over-possessing?
Did someone turn off the red light?

Phil · 14/11/2014 at 22:14

Id say they stopped over-possessing more than anything else. I recall a few games early on when they were playing like this. Heppell took 16 marks in 1 game I recall. Then after teams sussed them out (especially the st.kilda loss) they started becoming more direct. This probably was Hookers SC downfall. From an Essendon point of view, I don't think his form dropped off, if so not by a lot.

Comments are closed.