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Dixon's day: Charlie comes of age

Dixon's day out Charlie Dixon comes of age against the Giants in Canberra
AFL 2013 Rd 05 - GWS Giants v Gold Coast
Charlie Dixon belts out the Gold Coast theme song after Saturday's win over GWS
He's a super competitor. We love him in the ruck and we love him up forward
Guy McKenna
DURING his first 26 AFL games, Gold Coast key forward Charlie Dixon developed a reputation as one of the club's most frustrating players.

An imposing and athletic big man, he regularly got his hands on the ball in contested situations, yet he was often unable to hold onto it.

But the 22-year-old, who grew up in Cairns in North Queensland, turned the corner in his 27th game, in which the Suns defeated Greater Western Sydney by 44 points in Canberra.

Not only did Dixon clunk nine strong marks, he also became the first Gold Coast player to kick six goals in a premiership season match.

Asked afterwards whether he felt his effort against the Giants was a breakthrough performance, he smiled and said, "Definitely."

Four of Dixon's goals came in the first half, during which his confidence seemed to grow by the minute.

"It was just one of those days when everything stuck," he said. "And the boys kept kicking me the ball, which was good."

Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna was delighted with Dixon's commanding performance.

"We've had a lot of chats over many, many years about him being inconsistent," McKenna said.

"But that's probably typically of a young player finding his feet in the AFL system."

A former basketballer, Dixon is one of the Suns' longest serving players, having been involved with the club since it debuted in the Victorian under-18 competition in 2009.

Talking points: Giants v Suns

Since then he has matured from a raw beanpole into a powerful key position player.

And his performance against the Giants showed that Gold Coast's patience is starting to reap a handy dividend.

"I think he's just starting to get reward for consistent preparation," McKenna said.

"I think the work he's been able to do away from match-day, with his preparation in the gym and his diet and training hard, all those sort of things, are starting to pay off.

"There was probably a turning of the tide late last season, with his frustrations and our frustrations, and we had to throw him down back.

"He did some really good jobs as a back pocket, playing on the resting ruckman, then going into the ruck.

"He got his belief and his confidence up, and with that confidence he was able to go forward and clunk a few marks late last season, and he's really been able to continue on with that this season.

"He's a super competitor. We love him in the ruck and we love him up forward."
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs