Why would the Western Bulldogs pick a giant ruckman in the first round of the AFL draft when everybody knows Luke Beveridge prefers mobile rucks who can play multiple roles?
And why would they select a skinny, 205cm prospect when clubs are generally moving away from spending precious first-round picks on project ruckmen?
Because Tim English isn’t a traditional ruckman.
The West Australian played most of his junior football as a midfielder before a growth spurt forced a positional change.
That should help English adjust to Beveridge’s different approach to the role of the ruckman.
With less of a premium placed on winning the tap, the Dogs ranked 16th for hitouts in their premiership season and Jordan Roughead, their first-choice ruck, was a key-position player before Beveridge arrived at Whitten Oval.
English says he’s up for the challenge.
“(The coach) does like mobile ruckmen and it’s a huge honour that the (club’s) list management have the faith in me to be able to play that role,” English said.
“At South Fremantle, that was my role so hopefully it’s similar here.
“Mobility is one of my strengths, so maybe I’m not (a traditional ruckman).”
Such is English’s ability to cover the ground and win his own ball, he’s been favourably compared to West Coast great Dean Cox.
“I can’t really control what people’s opinions are … I’d be stoked if I could be half as good as Dean Cox,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a huge comparison, I’m pretty humbled by that, but I haven’t really achieved anything yet.”
Weighing just 92kg, English has significant work to do to get his body up to AFL standard and will likely spend 2017 in the gym and learning his craft at VFL level.
English and fellow draftees Patrick Lipinski, Lewis Young and Fergus Greene joined the Bulldogs’ first-to-fourth-year players on Tuesday at Whitten Oval.
The 2016 premiership party will be over for the rest of the playing group when full pre-season training begins next week.