WESTERN Bulldogs ruckman Tim English has added some more size to his frame over the pre-season as he prepares to partner recruit Stefan Martin in the club's bid for finals success in 2021.
The Dogs searched for a ruck boost in last year's Trade Period after losing their second straight elimination final, adding former Brisbane big man Martin.
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He will combine with English, who has continued to bulk up as he works to be a consistent force against the AFL's best ruckmen. The 23-year-old said the pair had already been working together.
"I put on another couple of kilos over the off-season and it's obviously a big focus for me after last season and throughout my career so far [I've wanted] to put on a bit more muscle mass. I’ve put on another couple of kilos which is what everyone wants to hear," English said.
"It's finding a balance between putting on the right sort of weight and being able to play to my strengths on the ground.
“It's quite a hard balance to find and it's going to take me a little while but it's really good we've got Stef in now because he's been helping me with putting in little exercises that will help me in that ruck role."
English didn't train on Wednesday as the Bulldogs hit the track, with the West Australian on a modified program. The Bulldogs have a relatively healthy list a month out from the start of their AAMI Community Series, with former Demon Mitch Hannan among the small group of players on restricted duties as he is managed through his groin concern.
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Toby McLean was back running on the sidelines as he recovers from his knee reconstruction, while Taylor Duryea, Josh Bruce, Easton Wood, Aaron Naughton, Tom Liberatore and Cody Weightman were all on lighter duties for the craft and skills session.
Among the Dogs' recruits, a lean Martin was impressive after returning from an injury-hit 2020 with the Lions.
"It's really good for us as a footy club because obviously last season we had myself and Jordon Sweet, who are on the younger side," English said.
"We had Jackson Trengove who played a few seasons in the ruck so he helped in that area but having Stef come across has been really good. I chatted to him over the off-season and he gave me a call and was able to give me a few tips over the off-season. Seeing him in the gym and out on the track and that professionalism he brings it's really going to benefit myself and 'Sweety'."
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Prized signing Adam Treloar trained fully, with the ex-Collingwood star combining regularly with Josh Dunkley, who attempted to quit the Dogs for a move to the Bombers during the Trade Period.
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English said the Dogs' midfielders would have to battle for the prime position.
"It's hard, you have to draw a raffle ticket I think. But as a team we pride ourselves on being really selfless in those midfield roles," he said.
"We have a lot of players vying for those roles but [we have] that selfless team-oriented mindset and end goal that we want to be the best midfield in the comp and everyone has to play their role in that."