Western Bulldogs ruckman Stefan Martin's body is "close to perfect" as the veteran aims to return to his AFL best and guide developing tall Tim English.
The 34-year-old says his move to Whitten Oval after eight seasons with the Brisbane Lions has reinvigorated his career.
Martin endured an injury-plagued final year up north and was not offered a new contract by the Lions after their preliminary-final loss.
But he was not short on suitors after proving himself to be an effective and durable ruckman in the previous seven years.
"Last year was a bit of an anomaly because I had some good consistency before," Martin said.
"The stress fracture in the back took some time to come good but it's close to perfect and I've done 95 per cent of training sessions.
"Having been at Brissy for quite some time, it's given me some extra energy with a new challenge and trying to prove myself to a whole new club," Martin said.
"The role of mentor (to English), obviously I'm here to play as well, but I've been loving working with Tim."
While AFL clubs have been moving away from using two ruckmen, the Bulldogs are set to unleash Martin and English together in most games.
"If I am reading the tea leaves, it looks that way as long as I hold up my end of the bargain and contribute," he said.
Australian Associated Press