PORT Adelaide recruit Charlie Dixon has made an early start to pre-season training with his new club, working with high performance manager Darren Burgess to overcome his troublesome ankle injuries.
Dixon, who was due to start with the Power on November 23, has already checked in at Alberton and been given a program by Burgess to strengthen the muscle around his ankles, which have restricted him to 43 games across the past three seasons.
It's a program he hopes can be the springboard to his first full season since joining Gold Coast as a local talent selection in 2010.
"This is the first time in my career that I’ve come out of a season and wanted to keep playing, in the sense that my body has felt really good," Dixon told the Cairns Post.
"In previous years I’ve looked at the blokes playing finals and thought to myself, ‘How are they still fit and able to play their best footy after such a long season?’
"I’ve already met with Darren Burgess and he’s given me a program to follow ahead of our first day of pre-season.
"The fitness program is centred on strengthening the muscles around my ankles and hips."
Dixon said he had a 2kg difference in muscle mass between his left and right legs, which would be addressed by his new program.
There are high hopes at Alberton for the 200cm forward, who has the potential to get the Power back into premiership contention in 2016 under Ken Hinkley, according to club great Kane Cornes.
Working with Hinkley, who played a key role in Dixon's development at the Suns, was the major reason for the 25-year-old's switch at the end of last season.
"I feel Kenny and I are a bit alike, we’re both straight up and down, what you see is what you get with him," Dixon said.
"I just like his ability to see through all the bulls--- and simply tell it as it is.
"With Ken you know where you sit with him, and that works fine for me … he expects his players to give their all, and to leave nothing out there."