The usual arc is from hero to goat, but Port Adelaide Power forward Charlie Dixon is twisting that arc the other way ‘round, going form a major disappointment last season to a legitimate contender for All-Australian honours based on his play thus far in the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership competition.
He has kicked 20 goals in nine matches this year, which puts him on a pace to wind up the home-and-away season with close to 50, if you will forgive us for rounding up a bit.
The other areas where Dixon has demonstrated vast improvement is his 6.3 average marks per game and he is number two in the league for contested marks.
In 2016, Dixon’s first with the Power after bolting from the gold coast Suns, he set career bests for marks and disposals, but the general consensus around the league was that his upside potential was going unmet.
Through nine games in 2017, Dixon is halfway to his career-best 41 goals from his last season with Gold Coast; a figure amassed over 16 games.
That is another area where Dixon has improved. In five seasons with the Suns, he never appeared more than 16 times, so it is obvious that with increased time on the ground, his abilities will have time to blossom to their fullest potential.
From his forward position, he has also been a defensive contributor, with a career-high average of 3.7 tackles per game.
Of course, a player with Dixon’s statistics playing for less money would be considered a major asset, but when he signed a $3.1 million, five-year deal to come to Port, expectations were naturally high. Port also had to surrender a first-round draft pick to get Dixon, a condition that also included another draft pick or a player.
Some say that a serious heart-to-heart conversation between Dixon and Power Coach Ken Hinkley may have been a major catalyst in Dixon’s recent improvement.