IT TOOK only an hour of football from new recruit Charlie Dixon to convince Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley that the key forward's aggressive approach will aid the Power on their premiership quest this season.
Dixon made his debut for the Power in Thursday night's NAB Challenge clash with Richmond at Etihad Stadium, sitting out the first half before taking to the field in the third quarter of Port's 48-point win.
The former Gold Coast big man's impact was immediate – he took a strong mark that led to a Power goal – and was swarmed by teammates later in the game when he kicked a goal of his own.
Dixon finished with seven disposals and three marks, but his presence near goal was clear to see.
"The boys like him. We like him and there's a lot about Charlie to like," Hinkley said post-game.
"He played 'Port Adelaide' when he first came on the ground – bash, crash, 'get out of my way, if you get in my way I'm probably going to hurt you if I have to, but my teammates matter and whatever I have to do for them I'll do'."
Dixon's first pre-season campaign with Port Adelaide after being traded from the Suns was interrupted by minor knee surgery in February, but Hinkley said it was important for the 25-year-old to get some match conditioning before round one.
"I said to keep expectations down on Charlie before tonight. We just wanted him to get through the game and he's pulled up really well which is really important. But he does play the footy that Port people love," Hinkley said.
"It was nice to get to tonight and have Charlie play 60 minutes of footy."
While Port was pleased with its ability to manage the load of its star recruit and only play him in the second half of the meeting with the Tigers, Richmond's plans were thrown out by four injuries during the game.
It led to Tigers coach Damien Hardwick calling on the AFL to prematurely end the game in the fourth quarter when Richmond had just 15 players on the ground.
Hinkley said Richmond's fitness problems did not detract from the way he viewed Port's effort, and that he was focused on how the Power had run out the game.
"I had no control over it. I care about our team. We were well on top at the time, we were playing the football that we wanted. Yes, Richmond had some issues and I can understand they are getting ready for round one," he said.
"But for most of the night I thought we played pretty consistent football and that's what I'm pleased about.
"There was some banter up the line at one point [about shortening the game] but the AFL run the competition."
After losses in the opening two rounds of the NAB Challenge series, Hinkley said beating Richmond in the club's final pre-season hit-out was not a priority.
However, with just two weeks before the Power take on St Kilda in round one at Adelaide Oval, Hinkley reiterated it was important for the Power to begin playing more in its preferred way.
"The win was obviously good for us but we came here trying to play a style of football that we’ve practiced all summer and we had more opportunities tonight to see that for longer parts of the game," he said.
"The whole pre-season's about round one, two, three and four. As I said to the boys tonight, we weren't expecting perfection, we just wanted to make sure we are heading in the right direction."