Charlie Dixon is all smiles after the Power’s win over the Fremantle Dockers last Sunday at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Charlie Dixon is all smiles after the Power’s win over the Fremantle Dockers last Sunday at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Power forward keeps sunny disposition

QUEENSLANDER Charlie Dixon is back where it all started - and hoping to use the "home" conditions as a springboard to gaining a new contract with Port Adelaide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the 29-year-old forward back to the Gold Coast, where the Power have set up a short-term hub.

The Cairns product was the first player ever signed by the Suns - and etched his name further in the history books by becoming their first goalkicker in the AFL.

But after five frustrating seasons at the top level with the expansion club, Dixon headed to the Power on a lucrative five-year deal from 2016.

Arguably their most important player, the 202cm giant wants a big season in the Port attack in what is the last year of his current contract.

Dixon enjoyed a career-best season in 2017, booting 49 goals, but it remains the only year in which the underperforming Power have contested the finals while he's been at the club.

Dixon himself broke a leg towards the end of the 2018 season, and was then restricted to nine games in 2019.

Charlie Dixon directs traffic after a goal to the Power against the Dockers last Sunday on the Gold Coast. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Charlie Dixon directs traffic after a goal to the Power against the Dockers last Sunday on the Gold Coast. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

After his "most enjoyable" pre-season, Dixon is beaming, having played no small part in the Power's surge to the top of the ladder after the first three rounds.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about it at the start of that (coronavirus) break," he said of his contract status.

"But I've got to let my football do the talking and try not to dwell on it too much.

"I've got to play my best footy and give myself the best opportunity to get another contract."

It's so far so good, with Dixon kicking three goals in the ­record-breaking Showdown win over the Crows in Adelaide and then another two - and five contested marks - in the victory over Fremantle at Metricon Stadium, in his first outing at the Carrara venue since his time as a Sun in 2015.

"I was running around the back oval at Metricon with (Power teammate and another former Sun) Trent McKenzie and a few of the boys, I was thinking, 'Sh--, I didn't think I'd ever be back on this oval ever again in my life,' but here we are," he said.

"It's definitely a different situation, but it's actually amazing to be back up here. I forgot how good the weather is during winter ... walking around with shorts and a singlet on, it's something I've missed.

 

Charlie Dixon looks for an option.
Charlie Dixon looks for an option.

"It's going to be hard to go back," he added with a laugh.

"It's been raining flat out for the last five or six days there (in Adelaide)."

Despite a tweak of the groin in a pre-season game - and overcoming any mental demons associated with his broken leg - Dixon is in the best shape of his career.

He made the most of lockdown by training with Power great and assistant coach Chad Cornes, and a photo of the pair, shirtless and showing off their six-packs after a session, did the rounds on social media.

"He has a really good gym set-up at his place, so I was going around there ... that's about all we could do back then," said Dixon, whose playing weight hovers around 108-110kg.

"He's pretty happy with himself, but he works his a--- off.

"I'm liking the way I'm feeling out there at the moment. I had a really good pre-season.

"I didn't want to get back (from isolation) and start all over again. I made sure I was doing something every day, and trying to keep myself in peak physical condition."

Chad Cornes and Charlie Dixon looking massive.
Chad Cornes and Charlie Dixon looking massive.

With the Power aiming to go 4-0 with a win over the Eagles tonight at Metricon, Dixon said the squad had embraced the current climate - ­literally.

"I think the boys have just been pumped to get into some warm weather as well," he said. "But really, I think our pre-season has had a massive part to play ... the way we trained, the way we connected.

"We've still got a long way to go ... we need to keep building and keep moving forward.

"But it's great for (coach) Kenny (Hinkley) that the game style he's come up with really works for us, and we're all buying into it."

The Crows, Eagles and Dockers are yet to record a win in five games since basing themselves in Queensland.

"We knew that the teams that adapt the best in these situations are going to come out on top," Dixon said.

"I'm not saying these other guys can't or they haven't been - I don't know what they've been dealing with on their side.

"We understand we've got a job to do up here."

 

Dixon has been able to catch up with family during his return.

"Mum and Dad drove down (from Cairns), so it was really good to see them," he said.

But he will be keen to eventually get back to his babies - his American staffy Otis, golden retriever Owen and three cars he's restoring, his Holden Monaro, Ford F-Truck and Holden HX ute.

"None of them are running," he said.

But Dixon certainly is - and making a great attempt to continue his footy career.



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