13th October 1988
2007 NAB AFL Draft Pick No. 54
2008 AFL Debut
Recruited from East Fremantle, Cale is a tall key position player who is good in a contested situation with a strong pair of hands. He is quick and agile for his size and has good endurance. The tall but lightly framed forward prospect, debuted during round 21 of the 2008 season and benefited immensely from the experience. In his first game and during his first season, Hooker found himself playing on more experienced, bigger and stronger players.
Hooker played 15 games during the 2009 season and was far better equipped to hold down a key position.
Having played a further 18 games in season 2010, Cale started to emerge as one of the league’s best defensive players. Not only was he able to highlight his defensive side, but he was able to collect plenty of possessions along the way with a season high of 25.
A persistent hamstring injury set back Hooker's development in 2011 after he established himself as the club’s centre half-back in 2009 and 2010. The disciplined and reliable defender had an excellent start to the year before tearing his hamstring in round 13 against North Melbourne. He played only one more game for the year—against Port Adelaide in round 23.
After struggling with his hamstring initially, Cale had a very consistent year in 2012, cementing his position as a key defender for the Dons. He was set the task every week of taking on the opposition’s most dangerous forwards. As Cale continues to develop, so will his football as he works towards forming the next generation of Essendon’s backline.