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Cale Hooker

Last played for Essendon Bombers in 2021
Games: 219     Born: October 13, 1988     Origin: East Fremantle
Playing Height: 198cm     Playing Weight: 103kg     Position: Defender, Forward
Drafted: Round 4, Pick #54 2007 National Draft by Essendon Bombers
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Cale Hooker Biography

Tuesday, 17 August 2021
Cale Hooker announces his retirement from AFL football, effective at the end of the 2021 season.

"I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity the club has given me and I will leave the game at the end of the season knowing I left no stone unturned to give the club, my teammates and the fans everything I had," Hooker said.

"To have been part of something bigger than myself, something that is so important to so many people, has been such a privilege and an honour. Representing this jumper is something I will never take for granted."

Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Cale Hooker will be sidelined for between four and six weeks after suffering a calf strain.
Wednesday, 23 January 2019
Dyson Heppell will again lead Essendon in 2019 as captain, with the Bombers opting for a smaller leadership group.

Zach Merrett (vice-captain), David Myers, Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia have also retained their places in the leadership group from last season, however key defensive pair Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker have dropped out.

"We feel all five men bring strong and diverse qualities that will ensure the growth of the playing group across a number of values and we hope this resonates on-field too," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"I'd also like to acknowledge both Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley who are terrific leaders and made a strong contribution to the group last season."

Saturday, 19 January 2019
A hamstring strain for Cale Hooker will see him on a modified program for what the club expects will be up to three weeks.
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Brendon Goddard chooses not to be part of Essendon's leadership group this season despite being voted in by his peers.

Orazio Fantasia and David Myers have joined captain Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett, Cale Hooker, Joe Daniher and Michael Hurley in the seven-man group.

"It's wonderful to see Dyson voted back in as captain and his leadership style clearly resonates with his teammates," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"Dyson consistently displays care for his teammates, leads by example and is extremely driven to see this group achieve the success they are striving for."

Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Cale Hooker says he used as motivation the stinging criticism levelled at him after the Bombers' round 10 loss to Richmond.

Hooker's goalless outing against the Tigers moved Melbourne great Garry Lyon to label him a liability and remark on SEN radio he was "playing like he has no clue what he is doing".

The 28-year-old, who has kicked 23 goals from 12 games this season, booted two goals in his next match then slammed through five in a 70-point demolition of Port Adelaide.

"I heard the comments. I didn't agree with them but I understand how the media works ... it's an important part of the game," Hooker said.

"I didn't take it personally. It didn't worry me too much. If anything, it gave me a little bit of motivation to keep pushing and keep striving to perform for the team."

Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Cale Hooker says he enjoys playing the role of the experienced leader in Essendon's forward 50.

"I am enjoying being the older guy down there, helping teach and helping set guys up," Hooker said.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Essendon coach John Worsfold says he is determined to play Cale Hooker predominantly up forward.

A hamstring injury delayed Hooker's pre-season meaning he only played one VFL game before going straight into the senior side for the season opener.

Worsfold said Hooker was basically doing a pre-season on the run.

"He is building match fitness and his understanding of his role down there," Worsfold said.

"When he is around the footy he looks unbelievably dangerous and creates a lot for us. His form will improve no doubt throughout the year."

Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Dyson Heppell is named Essendon skipper for 2017.

Heppell will be supported by Cale Hooker and Zach Merrett, who have been named vice-captains.

Former skipper Jobe Watson retains a spot in the club's leadership group which will also include Brendon Goddard, Michael Hurley and Joe Daniher.

“It’s an absolute honour to be named the captain of this great club,” Heppell said.

"Jobe (Watson) has been a tremendous captain - he’s one of the great leaders of our game, and he’s been a wonderful mentor to me over the journey."

Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Essendon forwards coach Hayden Skipworth says Joe Daniher and Cale Hooker have the potential to dominate the competition with contested marking.

"I have sort of put the challenge to those guys to be two of the best contested marks in the comp," Skipworth said.

"Joey finished fourth last year (playing) by himself with not a lot of (forward 50) entries, not a lot of quality entries either, so if we can get a higher volume of entries and better entries we see him and Cale together becoming a real weapon for the side."

Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Cale Hooker turns his back on free agency and recommits to Essendon for another five years in a deal that will keep him at the club until the end of 2021.

"It's great news and a strong reflection on Cale's personal character and loyalty, but also his belief in the club and where we are aiming to get ourselves back to," Essendon coach John Worsfold said.

"Cale's an elite player in the competition and he's the reigning Crichton medallist at Essendon and he's a champion bloke, so it's a pretty good value to have around."

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon reveals that Bomber Cale Hooker called him to confirm that he was re-signing with the Bombers for five years.

The Dockers were one of a number of clubs pursuing Hooker's services as he was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

"We've got a really strong relationship. And does it surprise me? No, because he's very loyal to his football club," Lyon said.

"He had a number of Melbourne clubs (interested), so I wish him all the best; he's a really good person.

"From our end, clearly our list management identified him, as did a number of other clubs. You didn't have to be a genius did you? Even we could work it out, or I could. So that chapter is shut and we've all moved on and it never was."

Thursday, 21 April 2016
Essendon remains optimistic Cale Hooker will be a Bomber next season.

"He's one of these larger-than-life individuals, Cale … he loves the club, that's one thing we do know," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.

"We'll know in the short term rather than the long term what he intends to do."

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Emerging Bombers Zach Merrett and Joe Daniher have been named in the club's rejigged leadership group, which will feature rotating top-up players throughout the season.

Essendon was forced to change its leadership group when five members – captain Jobe Watson, vice-captain Dyson Heppell, David Myers, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley – were suspended for the season for anti-doping breaches.

The remaining two members of the group that was announced in December, Brendon Goddard and Mark Baguley, have taken on the respective captain and vice-captaincy duties this year.

The bans left several vacancies, with Merrett, Daniher and James Gwilt added to leadership positions, and David Zaharakis reinstalled into the leadership group after being cut at the end of last season.

"Obviously development of our youngsters is a bit of a priority this year so it makes sense that we've got a couple of younger players who are held in pretty high regard by the group and they're emerging leaders," Essendon football manager Rob Kerr.

"Given the circumstances and given the exposure to the full leadership repertoire and what's involved in the senior leadership group level will no doubt hold them in good stead and fast-track their progress."

Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Essendon's worst fears have been realised with the Court of Arbitration for Sport finding 34 past and present players guilty of taking banned substance Thymosin Beta-4 and suspending them for the entire 2016 season.

Twelve players still on the Bombers' list and five now at other AFL clubs who took part in Essendon's 2012 supplements program have been hit with two-year bans beginning on March 31 last year.

However, most of the suspensions will come to an end on November 13 this year, taking into account provisional suspensions already served.

Bombers skipper Jobe Watson, vice-captain Dyson Heppell, reigning club champion Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Travis Colyer, Michael Hibberd, Ben Howlett, David Myers, Brent Stanton and Tayte Pears will all miss the Bombers' 2016 campaign.

The guilty decision impacts four other AFL clubs with former Essendon players on their lists, with Jake Carlisle (St Kilda), Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Jake Melksham (Melbourne), Angus Monfries and Patrick Ryder (Port Adelaide) to be sidelined for the season.

Former Essendon players Mark McVeigh and Brent Prismall are set to be suspended from their respective roles at Greater Western Sydney and the Western Bulldogs until November 13 as support staff are banned from any WADA-complaint sports under the sanctions.

McVeigh is an assistant coach at the Giants, while Prismall is a player wellbeing and welfare manager with the Bulldogs.

Essendon champion and former club coach James Hird slammed the guilty verdict and suspensions.

"I am shocked by this decision," Hird said in a statement.

"I firmly believe the players do not deserve this finding.

"They do not deserve to face a twelve-month suspension from the sport. This is a miscarriage of justice for 34 young men."

Friday, 18 December 2015
Jobe Watson has rediscovered his passion and will lead Essendon for the seventh season after being elected the club's skipper for 2016.

The Bombers announced their leadership group on Friday, with the 30-year-old Brownlow medallist to take the reins again with midfielder Dyson Heppell his vice captain.

Essendon's leadership group will also include David Myers, Brendon Goddard and Cale Hooker, with Michael Hurley and Mark Baguley added to the group.

Heppell captained the Bombers during Watson's nine-week absence at the end of last season due to a shoulder injury, but Watson said he "had the passion" to hold the position again.

"I spent some time away by myself overseas and had a long think about what I wanted out of footy and my role at the football club," Watson said.

"Over there I decided that I was still passionate about playing and still had the urge to lead and was excited about leading this team and this club.

"In my mind once it was ratified that my teammates felt that I was the right person to do it, I knew I still had the passion for the role."

Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Cale Hooker's form at both ends of the ground has been rewarded by winning Essendon's best and fairest for 2015.

The All Australian defender, who started the season in the backline before switching forward, polled in 20 of 22 games for the Bombers to be named the Crichton medallist with 456 votes.

He led second-placed key defender Michael Hurley (402 votes) and last year's winner Dyson Heppell (third place with 360 votes) at Wednesday night's event.

Saturday, 29 August 2015
Interim Essendon coach Matthew Egan says Cale Hooker could be a premier forward of the competition if he was settled in attack on a permanent basis.

Hooker has kicked 18.17 in the Bombers' past nine games since moving forward against St Kilda in round 14.

"The way he's going he can definitely be an elite forward of the competition," Egan said.

"I know [Essendon assistant coach] Nathan Bassett mentioned today (Hooker) was probably in the All Australian defensive side and now, if he had have played there more, he'd be probably heading to the All Australian forward line.

"He's a competitor, so if he doesn't mark the ball he's really good on the ground ball. He's watched a lot of [West Coast's] Josh Kennedy. His goalkicking's improved, so he's looking dangerous. We need two of him."

Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Cale Hooker, lately reborn as an Essendon key forward, says club legend Matthew Lloyd was partly behind his move into attack.

"Lloydy in particular, just with that set shot practice ? he was obviously the best in the business, so all the advice I can get off him the better," Hooker said.

"I'm already feeling the improvement. It's a bit like practising your golf swing, you just keep practising it and it'll become a habit and it'll become easy."

Monday, 13 April 2015
Cale Hooker admits his match-winning goal against Hawthorn involved a bit of luck.

"When I kicked it I knew it was going through, but it was probably a little bit lucky - it was a bit of an inside-out torp," Hooker said.

"It was a nice feeling to kick a goal - I haven't kicked too many."

Sunday, 12 April 2015
Cale Hooker kicks a match-winning goal to seal a thrilling two-point victory for Essendon over reigning premiers Hawthorn.

Essendon coach James Hird said after the match that Hooker's heroics was all part of a set play.

"We've trained all year with two minutes to go, a goal down, and put someone off the half back and it worked," Hird said.

"Hooker is the man we've had going forward.

"We've been doing it, so they did it themselves. They know that when a certain part of the game is that's what they're meant to do, and they did it.

"It's great when you train something and it happens."

Saturday, 21 February 2015
David Zaharakis has returned to Essendon's leadership group, in one of three additions to the squad for this season.

The midfielder was left out of last year's group but has been voted back in after working hard during the season to improve his leadership.

All Australian defender Cale Hooker and veteran forward Paul Chapman have been included in the Bombers' group for the first time, joining Zaharakis as the new faces.

Captain Jobe Watson, Brendon Goddard, Brent Stanton, David Myers and Dyson Heppell make up the eight-man team.

"All three players really proved themselves as leaders around the club over the past 12 months, and to be voted in by your peers is a huge show of confidence in their leadership," Watson said.

"'Hooksy', 'Chappy' and 'Zacka' will all bring a unique and versatile skill set to the leadership group; while as a collective, we will continue to drive the standards we expect of our teammates."

Thursday, 2 October 2014
Dyson Heppell's fantastic year is rewarded with his first Crichton Medal win.

Heppell polled 520 votes to win from Cale Hooker (354), followed by Brendon Goddard with 279.

"To be named the best and fairest winner of the Essendon Football Club is a tremendous honour," Heppell said.

"I've been looking through the list of past winners and it's something I'll really cherish.

"It's such a great footy club and we're going to some really great places – I truly believe that – and it's such a fantastic list and I can't wait to see what the future brings."

Wednesday, 13 November 2013
A report is made on Melbourne radio station 3AW that two Essendon players, one of which has been named as Tom Bellchambers and the other believed to be Cale Hooker, had left an Albert Park restaurant without paying their bill.

The players reportedly told staff that two young women eating at the restaurant would pay their bill, which wasn't the case.

"We take it seriously and we know all the facts. Even though it's a unfortunate thing to happen, there wasn't much in it," Thompson said.

"That's all been handled. It shouldn't have happened and we're not happy but there was no intent.

"I think [Bellchambers] had been at the restaurant, knew the owner, and had eaten there a lot of times so it's not a big issue."

Tuesday, 3 September 2013
Following a career-best season, Cale Hooker signs a new three-year deal with Essendon.

"There was an offer from West Coast to go back home, which is always tempting with friends and family there," Hooker said earlier in the year.

"But I decided I wanted to stay at Essendon. I've got a lot of mates here and I really enjoy playing with the club. I'm glad I made that decision.

"I thought about it and weighed up all the offers. I sort of felt I had unfinished business at Essendon as well this year and so I was really happy to stay. Once you know what your decision is, you just stick with it."

Monday, 17 May 2010
Cale Hooker is set to miss a month of football after a hamstring tear.
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