Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Charlie's Power to Succeed; Dixon Wins over Fans in Adelaide

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Charlie's Power to Succeed; Dixon Wins over Fans in Adelaide

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY MALLINDER

AFL: Charlie Dixon might be revered by Port Adelaide supporters now, but it wasn't always the case.

He had arrived at Alberton at the end of 2015 on a fat contract that opened him up to feeling the wrath of passionate Power fans if he wasn't performing.

Dixon (pictured right) remembers only too well the less-than-warm welcome he got in South Australia, where the public lives and breathes footy.

For a normally laid-back country lad from Cairns, it was a whole new world.

"(I was) coming from the Gold Coast, where no one really knew who you were, there's no pressure on you from the outside," the 27-year-old recalled.

"Down here it was relentless ... social media, it was everywhere. If you don't have a very good game, fans, and everyone, love to let you know.

"That was hard to deal with. The same with my family, they found it pretty tough ... some of the stuff that was said."

A late bloomer who had played basketball in the far north, Dixon was brought over by coach Ken Hinkley, previously in charge of the forwards at the Gold Coast Suns, in the hope he could finally fulfil his potential in the teal, black and white.

The towering 200cm crash-and-bash key forward was the first player signed by the Suns and kicked their first AFL goal, but his five years at the top level had amounted only to glimpses of his undoubted talent - largely due to injury setbacks.

A knee injury sidelined him for part of his first summer with the Power, and then an ankle injury late in the 2016 season slowed him again.

Fans were left frustrated by their new spearhead, who in turn decided to ignore the outside chatter.

"At the end of my pre-season the following year (2017), I just took the attitude, 'I don't give a s--- what anyone says'," he said.

"As long as my coaches and teammates are happy with the way I'm going (that's all that matters)."

From there, Dixon enjoyed a career-best season. …

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