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Green Dixon compared with Brown

Laine Clark 31/03/2011 09:05:30 PM Comments (0)

Comparisons with Jonathan Brown have already begun for Gold Coast Suns forward Charlie Dixon - even before playing an official AFL game.

But it wasn't that long ago Dixon probably would have preferred being compared with Andrew Bogut.

A promising junior basketballer in hometown Cairns, Dixon caught the Aussie Rules bug late - but Suns coach Guy McKenna is sure glad he did.

At just 19, Dixon has been entrusted with shouldering the goal-scoring load in the Suns' historic AFL debut against Carlton at the Gabba on Saturday night.

McKenna believes the 200cm, 101kg Dixon has a mean streak similar to a certain Brisbane Lions captain - and one that he hopes is unleashed on an unsuspecting Blues.

Asked if there was anyone Dixon could be compared with at this stage of his development, McKenna said: "Jonathan Brown.

"He's got that element of, I could say, nastiness.

"Browny is Browny as we know - I think he probably steps over the line a bit.

"But he goes out of his way to bang off someone to take a ball.

"Charlie's probably not in that bracket yet but he will go hard at the ball (and) if someone gets in his way...he will hit them as hard as he can.

"If he can be half as good as Jonathan Brown we will all be very happy that is for sure."

Dixon was embarrassed by the comparison on Thursday.

"That's a wrap," he laughed.

Dixon gave a taste of what to expect when he took a huge grab over veteran fullback Daniel Merrett in his two-goal effort in the Suns' recent pre-season loss to arch rivals the Brisbane Lions.

"There's a lot to like about Charlie," McKenna said.

"That's the great thing about him - you can build a gameplan around him because it's very rare that he gets beaten."

Stepping up at centre half-forward as a teenager on AFL debut in front of up to 30,000 sounds tough - but arguably he has already completed a much tougher task.

Identified by scouts in the AFL outpost of Cairns, Dixon then made the bold decision to not nominate for the draft three years ago and do the hard yards at the Suns.

It has not gone unnoticed by McKenna.

"For all those blokes who opted out of the draft like Charlie, I am very proud of them," he said.

"They went through TAC (under 18s) then VFL last year - they could be third year AFL players this year.

"Zac Smith is another one, and Marc Lock.

"They started the journey over three years ago and here they are today."

Dixon admitted he did not dare dream that he would play in the AFL when running around for the Cairns Saints.

"Probably not. It just shows that if you work hard and do everything right you can make it," he said.

McKenna admitted it was tough finalising their debut squad.

He said emergencies Michael Coad, Dan Gorringe and Maverick Weller were "unlucky" as were Rory Thompson and Hayden Jolly.

Gary Ablett will captain a side containing all eight of the Suns' uncontracted player signings.

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