06/12/2023
Dana Hooker

Dana Hooker will be leading by example in a potential new role for the Eagles. Picture @WestCoastEagles

When West Coast AFLW Vice-captain Dana Hooker lines up for the Eagles this season, it could be in a new position.

When West Coast AFLW vice-captain Dana Hooker lines up for the Eagles this season, it could be in a new position.

Hooker will be raring to go after nearly a year between matches, with a freak accident keeping her out of all but one game in 2021.

And the Eagles newfound midfield depth has opened up an opportunity for her in a new position.

“This little adjustment started, well over a year ago, when Daniel Pratt [ex-Eagles coach] looked at giving me a role off half-back at times throughout the game,” she said at Captain’s day on Tuesday.

“Obviously Michael [Prior]’s come in, and he’s a former backline coach, and he liked the idea of me playing halfback as well, so we’ve just played around with that over pre-season.

“It gives us another look if we want to use it throughout the season.”

The growing strength of the Eagles side has Hooker excited for the season to come.

“We do still have a young developing side, but we’ve got some experience as well,” she said.

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“Our list every year gets stronger and stronger, and we’re excited by the talent that we have brought in; Charlie Thomas, Courtney Rowley as well.

“And then you add in the girls- Bella Lewis, Mikayla Bowen, and the depth we’ve added through the sign and trade period- Evie Gooch, Aimee Schmidt and Gilly [Andrea Gilmore] coming back. We feel like we’ve got some really good depth in our side.

“But at this stage, we’re just looking at the processes and taking it game by game. We’re not putting a ceiling on our potential at all, we’ll just see where we’re placed at the end of the season and go from there.

With 2022 looking set to be another travel-heavy season for the Eagles, Hooker opened up on her support network while being away from her daughter.

“There are challenges there, the thought of going away for an extended period of time; my daughter will stay because she’s got school, so obviously some challenges there,” she said.

“But I’ve obviously got a great support network here at home and with the team, so we’ll just manage it week by week, and do the best we can to make it a really quality time when we are away.

“We’re there to play football, we’re there to perform, we’re there to win as much as we can, so that’s what the focus is.

“We’ll come back, and life will go on.”

West Coast will take on Fremantle in the Western Derby on Saturday night at Fremantle Oval.

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