Gold Coast SUNS key forward Charlie Dixon will play his first senior game of the season against Greater Western Sydney on Anzac Day after he made a successful return in the NEAFL last weekend.
The spearhead endured an interrupted pre-season at Metricon Stadium due to ankle surgery in early February, but after re-joining full training for the last month and playing close to three quarters of the reserves game last weekend, he is ready to return to the forward line alongside Tom Lynch.
“Charlie Dixon back for his first game of the year will be a great boost for us. It will be his 50th game as well, it's taken awhile for Charlie because of the injuries that he’s had,” Rodney Eade told SUNS TV on Thursday evening.
“He’s worked extremely hard, performed well last week so hopefully he can give us a good key target.”
With Lynch producing a dominant display against Geelong, Eade will be thrilled to get the potent pairing of Dixon and Lynch into the same forward line for the first time in his short tenure on the Gold Coast.
The match committee has made two changes at the selection table for the SUNS round four clash against fellow expansion outfit Greater Western Sydney. Alex Sexton also returns from suspension, with key position pair Daniel Gorringe and Sam Day omitted.
After five forced changes were made before last weekend's trip to Geelong, Eade and the match committee decided to make two changes for Saturday’s ANZAC Day clash in Canberra.
The SUNS' spirited performance against Geelong at Simonds Stadium could be the catalyst for an early season revival following a disappointing start to the year.
“We’ve got a good baseline now of effort and attitude, so we need to take that in week in and week out starting this week with GWS in Canberra,” Eade said.
Round 4 AFL Premiership Team
B: T. McKenzie, S. May, S. Lemmens
HB: A. Saad, R. Thompson, S. Tape
C: K. Kolodjashnij, D. Prestia, N. Malceski
HF: A. Hall, T. Lynch, B. Matera
F: T. Miller, C. Dixon, H. Bennell
R: Z. Smith, M. Rischitelli, D. Swallow
INT: J. Martin, J. Garlett, M. Shaw, A. Sexton
Emergencies: H. Schade, T. Nicholls, J. Lonergan
IN: C. Dixon, A. Sexton
OUT: S. Day (omitted), D. Gorringe (omitted)