THE DOG FILES: MARK O'MELEY
"Defender's a Rock"
Canterbury Bankstown Express
THEY call this man Shrek for a reason. Mark O'Meley is truly an ogre of a man - a 180cm, 104kg prop that is known for his rock solid defence and ferocious hit-ups, and that same culture of uncompromising power at the Bulldogs is what drew him to the club.
"We train hard and we play hard, and the results come," he said. "That's the reason I came here - I was on the outside looking in and now being a part of it is what I like about being a Dog."
He said being a part of the Bulldogs giant forward pack had allowed him to share the workload around this year, but with injuries to key big men Roy Asotasi and Tony Grimaldi, the onus has been on him to lead the pack forward.
"It was good this year because I could sit back a little bit and not bash up the body as much as normal, but it's time there's not holding back now," he said.
"It's time to roll up the sleeves and lead this team around."
He is also more than conscious of the impact that big players such as himself have on the game, and holds smaller players he is sent to menace in very high esteem.
"I have a lot of respect for the little guys who put their body on the line," he said.
"Us big forwards, we're used to getting whacked and putting our bodies on the line, but the little fellas, your Brett Hodgsons and that, just relentlessly put themselves under bombs and get three targets put on them, I just have a lot of respect for them."
Shrek said he didn't get his nickname because of his menacing size.
"I had Ogre when I was at the Northern Eagles because I used to sweat a bit at training and sweat a bit in the off-season on the bench press," he said. "Corey Hughes jumped it over to Shrek when I came here."
When he's off the field, he said he likes nothing more than to have a beer and play cards and golf.
Next week in The Dogs Files: Hazem el Masri