Essendon recruit Jake Stringer set to make home in Bombers’ midfield

ESSENDON is working to mould Jake Stringer into a more permanent midfielder while Cale Hooker looks set to find himself in the forward line again this year.

With just 42 days remaining until the club’s first pre-season match, the Bombers have been back in training this week and Stringer once again caught the eye at Tullamarine on Friday.

The former Western Bulldogs forward participated in only the first part of the session but has been impressing teammates throughout his first few months at the club.

“He’s done the majority of his pre-season with the midfield group which has been great,” Bombers defender Michael Hurley said.

“He’s really explosive and his power around the ball and his strength and just his size will help us. Some of our midfielders are on the smaller side so to throw that big body in there will be great.

“Before Christmas I didn’t get to see a whole lot of them (the recruits) because I was over on the far oval running laps but even Jake this morning was explosive and Devon Smith is going to add a heap and for me personally playing alongside Saady (Adam Saad) is going to be real exciting, just give him the ball and let him run.”

Jake Stringer at Essendon training. Picture: AFL Media

Hurley, who had post-season hip and wrist surgery, said he was “feeling good” after returning to full training only this week.

“Pre-Christmas was more so just running and getting back into it but I’m feeling good now,” he said.

“The hand’s going well and the hip’s going well so hopefully I can maintain some training for the next month or so.”

There have been suggestions Cale Hooker will spend more time back in defence this year after being pushed forward for large periods last season but Hurley said he was not counting on having that support.

“I’d love to. He’s obviously a star down back but I think the plan is for him to stay down forward and continue to work with Joey (Daniher) and the other guys,” he said.

Essendon tackles reigning premier Richmond in the first week of the JLT Community Series in Wangaratta on February 24.

David Zaharakis is tackled by Jake Stringer at training. 
Dyson Heppell goes head to head with Jake Stringer.