Tim Meulendyks close to return from injury

By Ella Watson.

Tim Muelendyks was recruited by the Central District Football Club back in 2013 from the Hamilton Imperials in Country Victoria.

The then 18-year-old amassed a total of 8 league games before dropping back to the reserves.

Muelendyks left the club at the end of the 2013 season and returned home to the Hamilton Imperials.

In his time away from Centrals Muelendyks continued to play football for his local club he also used his time away to travel overseas.

“I was struggling living in the city, I needed a year to go home settle myself down, I did a bit of traveling overseas.”

“It was good to go home and mature a bit and realise this is what I wanted.”

Unsure whether he could return to the club Muelendyks re-entered talks with Centrals at the end of 2014.

“I had a good year in 2014 so I thought I would try to come back here and have another crack.”

 “I always had intentions of coming back, the Club said if you want to come back, there is a spot here for you.”

Having aged and matured Muelendyks is feeling a lot more comfortable at the club and living in the city this time around.

“There was a lot of new faces which was a bit weird at the start going from knowing everyone to only a group of about ten players was a bit different, but everyone is always very welcoming”

Now settled back in Adelaide Muelendyks manages a livestock farm near Gawler where he gets to spend all day driving tractors and sheering sheep and says he is enjoying the contrast between city and country life.

“I’m loving the lifestyle more this time, I’m working on a farm and really enjoying it.”

“I live in the city still, but travel out to the country every day, so it’s a good balance for me.”

Living in the city and working in the country puts training right in the middle which is very handy for Muelendyks to stop in on his way home.

“Training is about half way between work and home so it kind of forces me to stop in and do some weights or running on a Tuesday night on my way home.”

Off the field Muelendyks is considered a bit of a larrikin by his team mates, he is often the loudest and is not ashamed to admit he loves nothing more than a bad joke.

“I am pretty loud, always have some bad jokes to tell and a few good stories.”

“Chris Jansen Is probably the number one guy I pick on, most of my jokes revolve around him or Tyson Panagiotou.”

“Chris lives just around the corner from me so we spent quite a bit of time together which gives me quite a bit of ammunition to hang on him, which is good.”

Playing at half forward, on the field Muelendyks is a tough competitor preferring to attack rather than defend he works hard in assisting the midfield to push the ball into Centrals attacking 50.

“I play half forward, trying to get fit enough to play midfield, I’m starting to play a bit more around there now.”

“I like to think I can kick a few goals, I’m yet to come out and prove that, but hopefully this year I can kick a couple.”

Last weekend saw Centrals loose by a frustrating 21 points to Sturt at Peter Motley Oval.

The team got off to a flying start and were leading 4.2 to 0.2 at the first break, but were unable to maintain their momentum.

“I thought it showed we were a bit inexperienced, we had them on the ropes in the first quarter then we let them back into the game and then we fell away from our structures.”

“A lot of people had an off day, but the boys are ready to bounce back this week.”

This weekend Centrals are set to take on South at home, in what is sure to be a tough match.

last season saw Centrals beat South in the final round the winner progressing to the finals series.

With a score to settle and a great win over West last week South will undoubtedly enter this weekend as fierce competitors.

“We expect a lot of pressure, they have had a really good start to the year and a really good win against West last week, so will be full of confidence.”

“If we can get in there and break them down with tackles and pressure they will crumble after the first half and we can get a good win on the board in the second half.”

Centrals skill execution is one area Muelendyks is hoping to improve this weekend while their tackling pressure was strong at the start they failed to open up the game in the second half.

“I think we need to improve on the tackling pressure and the skill execution, last week we had the same amount of hand balls as kicks and the handballs weren’t breaking the game open.”

After last weekend Centrals are still sitting nicely at 3rd on the ladder and providing they hold that position Muelendyks is confident they have what it takes to make it all the way to the Grand Final.

“I think if everything goes well there is no reason why we can’t go all the way with the competition being so even this year.”

“With last years’ experience in the finals, it should leave us in good stead.”

Centrals take on South at home Saturday 16th at 2.10pm.

 Tim, in photo from 2013

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