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Player Review - Part Six

Basil Zoccali  September 28, 2015 12:00 PM

26. Cale Hooker:

There wasn’t much that Cale Hooker didn’t do in 2015. The 2014 All Australian defender was quick to pick up where he left off, playing an extremely important role and highlighting his status as one of the best defenders in the entire competition. He was the hero in the round two win against the Hawks playing an important role in shutting down the Hawks’ forwards before moving forward to score the match winner. However, Hooker’s biggest move would come halfway through the season where he would make the switch from defender to forward after teammate Jake Carlisle went down with injury. In unnatural territory, Hooker’s strong contested marking ability and pressure around the contest would prove to be a valuable asset to the team. He would finish with 21 goals for the season, having only kicked seven in his career before this year. The West Australian selflessness and standout year were rewarded as he took home the 2015 Crichton Medal.

27. Jonathan Giles:

2015 was a mixed season for Jonathan Giles. Recruited at the end of 2014, the ex-Giant spent the majority of the year building up fitness and learning the Essendon game style playing for Essendon VFL. Giles worked hard to get his body right, and would get his chance making his debut for the club in round 18 against the Western Bulldogs. The ruckman would have his run in the senior team cut short, suffering a knee injury late in the season. Averaging 25 hitouts from his three games, Giles also has the potential to provide another tall marking option up forward as he demonstrated for Essendon VFL where he kicked 15 goals for the season.

28. Elliott Kavanagh:

Elliott Kavanagh was given a handful of opportunities at a senior level in 2015. The 22-year-old played five games throughout the season averaging 13 disposals and at times showing the spark he can provide across the midfield. His best game came in the round 10 loss against Geelong where he collected 25 disposals, took four marks and had four clearances. The majority of Kavanagh’s success came for Essendon VFL where he was an essential part of the team’s midfield.

29. Patrick Ambrose:

After a stellar 2014, Patrick Ambrose at times struggled to have the same damaging impact that he is capable of. However, what the 24-year-old did offer was a contest and great forward pressure every time the ball entered the forward half. The forward’s performance in round five against the Saints was a standout, finishing the day with 19 disposals, eight tackles and two important goals. A shoulder injury drastically reduced his impact and he would miss the latter end part of the season.