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  1. #1
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    The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

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    Tim English sits down to talk. He does not have Chobani yoghurt cup and muesli or indeed any form of food product in his hand or mouth. This is unusual.

    Aside from when he is playing, training or sleeping English is in an almost constant state of grazing.

    English is a tall man but not a big one. He wants to be a big man, but presently is just tall. He is in a battle with his body and the sort of genetics that most of us would find a blessing – tall and athletic he can eat what he likes and not gain weight.

    So English has to eat an inordinate amount. He doesn’t eat big meals just a lot of them, and a lot of protein. His favourite meal, bizarrely, is Chobani protein yoghurt tubs and muesli. He has about six to eight a day.

    The ruckman is slowing winning his battle to bulge. In fact, he has grown higher as well as wider. He arrived at the Western Bulldogs three years ago at 205cm tall. He is now “207 or 8”cm tall, which puts him just behind Mason Cox, Aaron Sandilands and Jarrod Witts.

    He came to the club weighing 87 kilograms. Now he’s 100kg, he says but then he blushes. He does that a lot, blush that is. So much so that Daniel Giansiracusa dubbed him Chilly for the fiery red his face goes. Luke Dalhaus picked up on the name and ran with it.

    Whenever in a quiet moment in team meetings Dahlhaus would slyly mutter “Chilly”. All eyes would quickly turn expectantly to the big man who cannot hide in a crowd and he would dutifully oblige and with flaming red cheeks on command.

    So, when he blushes when he talks about his weight, firstly that is not uncommon and secondly it leaves you wondering if he has really reached the three figures or he is a bit embarrassed that he is bending the numbers. It doesn’t matter, he is getting there. It requires diligent work to fight against his body burning off the calories before it adds muscle and weight. It’s a genetic thing. His brother is the same height but he comes in at the rakishly thin 87kg. He’s not allowed outside in high winds lest he breaks

    On Sunday, English was confronted with two windows on his life in football. There was Mason Cox – a player of similar physical dimensions who was playing forward (on Sunday he didn’t play second ruck which he normally does). And there was Brodie Grundy.

    There are similarities about Grundy and English’s paths (if not their games). Like Grundy, English entered his national draft touted as the best ruckman in the pool and a likely top 10 draft pick. But clubs are reluctant to risk high draft picks on slow burn rucks so like Grundy English slid from to be taken at 19 (Grundy went 18). They both then carried first ruck within two years of being in the system.

    Like Grundy English’s running and ability to run out games is an asset. The strength is the difference.

    “Grundy’s strength is something that didn’t catch me by surprise but is something I find hard at this stage to be able to combat,’’ English said. Grundy is four years older.

    “Through years of ruck coaching he has also got better technique as well as his strength and that makes him hard to play against.

    “It is hard, physical strength does not come naturally for me at the moment. I spend a lot of hours in the gym tying to build up my body.”

    It has been a battle, not only to push himself to add the weight and strength, but to challenge the presumptions he would have to wait for his body before he could play.

    “Initially the thoughts of everyone was ‘it’s a minimum three to four years before he’d be ready to play’ but for me I was not coming in to make up numbers; I wanted to play straight away and knew I could bring something to the side from day one. It was my life dream – I was not going to sit back and drift along developing and say, ‘Give me time’.”

    English knew what it was to be patient. He was not drafted in the first year he ought to have been eligible. There was a glitch.

    English is off the farm, a 2630 hectares of grain crops and sheep outside the wheat-belt town of Pengilly, south-east of Perth. The farming service town is better known for producing Nicky Winmar than wheat. Leroy Jetta is from there, too. English’s mum taught him at school.

    When he was 12 Tim went to boarding school in Perth. It was tough early but he adjusted. His brother is two years older and was already there to help him settle in. Being tall and sporty also helped.

    A weird arm that wouldn’t let him bowl properly meant he was a batsman and wicketkeeper. At his size he made slips redundant. Hockey was his main game.

    As he got older and more involved at footy he would go down from school to Claremont and use their gym and train with the Colts team. At the end of the year he put in a registration to play Colts for Claremont. It was rejected. He was tied to South Fremantle because that was the zone for Pengilly.

    “I put in rego again next week and failed again, then it was finals so Icouldn’t play a Colts game, which meant I couldn’t register for the draft so I missed ... that year,’’ he said.

    “That was probably good for me in the end I got to go away and have a bit of time with schoolmates. I went back to South Fremantle and spent a year developing in Colts and played a (WAFL) game late in the year.”

    It hasn’t hurt his development.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  3. #2
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    I am glad we have backed in Tim and giving him the responsibility. This year will do him wonders for the coming years.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  5. #3
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Oh great here we go again, so is he 205, 207 or 208cm?
    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time, it works every time!
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by ratsmac View Post
    Oh great here we go again, so is he 205, 207 or 208cm?
    Does it really matter? It just goes to show how young he is that he is still growing

    It's important he get some support, injuries at his age and size now can be a problem later on
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Great headline

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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I am glad we have backed in Tim and giving him the responsibility. This year will do him wonders for the coming years.
    Hopefully he doesn't break down with the incredibly onerous workload foisted upon him this season as #1 ruck doing massive minutes. Otherwise we aren't "doing him wonders" at all.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
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    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Hopefully he doesn't break down with the incredibly onerous workload foisted upon him this season as #1 ruck doing massive minutes. Otherwise we aren't "doing him wonders" at all.
    It's one of the main reasons why I wanted us to get some support for him. Last year he was showing a level of being overworked but we kept playing him which led to an injury flaring up. Apparently he raised some concerns a couple of weeks earlier before he eventually succumbed to that injury and missed a sizeable chunk of the season. I'm not sure we learned too much from that or if we just have blind faith in him but I do believe we need to have some albeit short term support for him.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

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  11. #8
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    It's one of the main reasons why I wanted us to get some support for him. Last year he was showing a level of being overworked but we kept playing him which led to an injury flaring up. Apparently he raised some concerns a couple of weeks earlier before he eventually succumbed to that injury and missed a sizeable chunk of the season. I'm not sure we learned too much from that or if we just have blind faith in him but I do believe we need to have some albeit short term support for him.
    Agree 100%, although we do have Trengove in the short term. Nothing but stubbornness is preventing us from using this sensible option to help Tim out.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
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    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

  12. #9
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Micheal Gleeson is the most annoying sports writer going.



    "English is a tall man but not a big one. He wants to be a big man, but presently is just tall."
    Is it novel these days to write like a 6 year old? Oh well, so it goes.

    I'm a terrible and lazy writer, but I'm not paid for it.
    Gleeson always tries to distill AFL into this zen-like simplicity and comes across instead as if he just wet his pants.
    Tim Lane, Cometti, Shaun Carney, great AFL writers.

    So Tim English is eating a lot and growing. And he likes Yoghurt. Thanks Micheal
    "We've got to be good in the phone box, and good in the tardis" - Pearls of wisdom from Luke Beveridge.

  13. #10
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by Sedat View Post
    Agree 100%, although we do have Trengove in the short term. Nothing but stubbornness is preventing us from using this sensible option to help Tim out.
    We've had to use Trengove in the back line though instead of giving him regular chops outs. I'd also like to see English up forward a bit more. If he breaks down because we have worked him too hard it will be a real shame.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  14. #11
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    We've had to use Trengove in the back line though instead of giving him regular chops outs. I'd also like to see English up forward a bit more. If he breaks down because we have worked him too hard it will be a real shame.
    We do have Roberts and Lewis Young as key defensive cover. Agree that Trengove has been solid down back but he wasn't even deemed good enough to be selected for the first month of the season.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
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    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by ratsmac View Post
    Oh great here we go again, so is he 205, 207 or 208cm?
    He’s tall. End of discussion.

  16. #13
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Dog View Post
    Micheal Gleeson is the most annoying sports writer going.



    "English is a tall man but not a big one. He wants to be a big man, but presently is just tall."
    Is it novel these days to write like a 6 year old? Oh well, so it goes.

    I'm a terrible and lazy writer, but I'm not paid for it.
    Gleeson always tries to distill AFL into this zen-like simplicity and comes across instead as if he just wet his pants.
    Tim Lane, Cometti, Shaun Carney, great AFL writers.

    So Tim English is eating a lot and growing. And he likes Yoghurt. Thanks Micheal
    Really? That’s harsh. Lane and Cometti are both callers more than journalists. Shaun Carney is mainly a political writer. I thought the article was ok in giving us a sense of Tim the person.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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  18. #14
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by The bulldog tragician View Post
    Really? That’s harsh. Lane and Cometti are both callers more than journalists. Shaun Carney is mainly a political writer. I thought the article was ok in giving us a sense of Tim the person.
    I took it as what it was meant and that is he wants to put on more kilos.

    Hopefully more Kilos doesn't mean less agility.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  19. #15
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    Re: The English patient: Tall ruck wages a battle to bulge

    English has big hips and legs, its his torso and arms that aren't big. Big creatures develop later. His old man is big framed. He'll get there by 24 years of age.

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