AFL Trade: Matt Rendell’s warning for clubs interested in Western Bulldogs ruckman Tim English

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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Tim English struggled to have an impact against star Demon Max Gawn in the grand final.
Camera IconTim English struggled to have an impact against star Demon Max Gawn in the grand final. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Former AFL recruiter Matt Rendell has warned ruckman Tim English won’t be the answer to West Coast’s ruck stocks once star Nic Naitanui retires.

With English a South Fremantle junior and his partner, netballer Rudi Ellis, now heading west on a two-year deal with the West Coast Fever, the ruckman’s name continues to swirl in AFL trade circles.

Less than a month after AFL broadcaster Craig Hutchison first linked the young Bulldog with a return to WA, Rendell believes English won’t handle ruck duties solo.

“He’s never going to be your main ruckman,” Rendell said on AFL Trade Radio.

“He just doesn’t compete well enough for long enough as your main ruckman.


“He’s a big skinny kid… he’s been there four years.

“He’s had enough time to get there. I see him as that second ruck/forward.”

Could Tim English be on the move?
Camera IconCould Tim English be on the move? Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Citing concerns with English’s competitiveness, Rendell said the Bulldogs should trade the ruckman now if they don’t see his future at the kennel beyond his current deal, which ends in 2022.

“Four years I give to get your body up to speed … where you can push and shove all day. Someone like English, you’ve got to say maybe five. Six at worse,” he said.

“Sometimes the game just takes a long while for the penny to drop mentally.”

Commentator David King was scathing of English’s performance in the AFL grand final.

“Luke Beveridge has to make the call here,” King said on SEN.

“Is this the guy? What he did in the ruck was uncompetitive. Are you living with that? I think you have got to make the call.

“These are big problems for the Dogs, they have seen it on the biggest stage, they must act.”

Another former AFL recruiter Stephen Silvagni agreed the Bulldogs would be disappointed with English’s progress since the 2016 Draft, given the club will likely secure father-son selection Sam Darcy as a ruck/forward.

“They’re probably hoping he’d come along a bit quicker,” he said.

“Are they going to make a call on him, knowing there’s every chance he could go back to Perth at the end of next year?”

The Bulldogs face a tough signing slog next year, with a host of grand final players heading out of contract.

Bailey Dale, Caleb Daniel, Josh Dunkley — who unsuccessfully tried to join Essendon at the end of 2020, Jason Johannisen, Alex Keath, Jackson Macrae, Toby McLean, Bailey Smith and English are all off contract at end of 2022.

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