Werribee small forward Andrew Hooper has capped off an impressive first season at Avalon Airport Oval to finish as the club’s leading goalkicker for 2018.
The VFL veteran of 112 games kicked four goals in Saturday’s season-closing home win over North Melbourne to easily top the club leaderboard with 33 goals, four more than his 2017 season with North Ballarat and just three shy of his career-best 2010 and 2015 seasons with Williamstown and the Roosters respectively.
The total also placed Hooper equal fifth alongside the Seagulls’ Ben Cavarro in the “Frosty” Miller Medal race, with North Melbourne’s Nick Larkey (41), Port Melbourne’s Jordan Lisle (37), Box Hill’s Mitch Lewis (36), and Frankston’s Corey Rich (34) occupying the top four positions.
With goals in 15 of his 18 games, Hooper was consistently prominent up forward throughout the year, but he emerged as a particularly important figure in front of goal in the second half of the season in the absence of the injured Josh Corbett.
Among his standout performances were a five-goal haul in the wet in Werribee’s round 19 home win over Box Hill and his four-goal efforts at home against the Kangaroos and Essendon in round 21 and round 15 respectively, the latter including the match-winner from the pocket to seal a one-point thriller.
Corbett finished second in the club goalkicking count with 22 from just nine games, while Matthew Munro, Joel Bennett, and Kye Declase all made handy contributions up forward to finish equal third with 16 goals each.