ANDREW Hooper will launch the next chapter in his football career with Glenelg in the SANFL.
Delisted by the Western Bulldogs at the end of last season, Glenelg won the race for the former North Ballarat Rebel ahead of the North Ballarat Roosters.
Hooper, 21, told The Courier yesterday that it came down to choice between Glenelg and the Roosters.
He said a change in lifestyle with a move to South Australia had been an influencial factor in joining the Tigers.
As well as a playing contract, Hooper said Glenelg was arranging employment to allow him to continue with a first-year building apprenticeship.
Hooper, who began his football with Golden Point juniors, was recruited by the Western Bulldogs with pick 35 in the 2010 AFL rookie draft.
He made his AFL debut in a semi-final against the Sydney Swans – the first player to make his debut in a finals match in 25 years – in 2010 and in the national draft at the end of that season elevated to the senior list.
Hooper made seven AFL appearances in three seasons with the Bulldogs, and also made his mark with VFL-affiliate Williamstown.
Hooper said Glenelg had initially approached him mid-October.
He said had waited until after the AFL national draft before making a commitment in the hope that he might get called up by another AFL club.
“You just never know.”
Hooper said he had spent a few days in Adelaide, meeting coach Kris Massie and some players, and had been impressed with what he had seen.
At 21 years of age, Hooper’s best football is still in front of him and he has not given hope of one day playing in the AFL again.
He said he believed playing with Glenelg would help keep his dream alive. Hooper plans to move to Adelaide mid-January to begin pre-season training
Former Ballarat-based Scott Spriggs and Kain Ford have also joined Glenelg.