Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is tempering any expectation about prized recruit Charlie Dixon’s debut for the AFL club.
Former Gold Coast forward Dixon will play for Port for the first time against Richmond in a Thursday night pre-season game after overcoming a knee injury suffered in January.
“There has been a fair bit built up around Charlie over the summer and us getting him, so we look forward to seeing his start,” Hinkley told reporters on Wednesday.
“But you want to hold the expectation back a little.
“He is coming off a pretty restricted program for the last four weeks.”
Dixon has been slated to play about half the game against the Tigers at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.
“There’s still some restrictions … we are just very mindful of where he’s at and what he has done,” Hinkley said.
The Power coach believed the best was yet to come from the 25-year-old, who kicked 94 goals in 65 games for the Suns.
“Charlie is still growing as a person and growing as a player, that is the key thing,” Hinkley said.
“He’s only 25 so he has got a lot of growth still to come.
“But his physical growth is obvious and his teammates see it, they go out there with him at training and they get excited by his size, that gives them some confidence to go forward.”
Hinkley has rested wingman Jared Polec, on the comeback trail from a foot injury that ruined his 2015 season, citing the hard surface at Etihad Stadium as the reason.
“He is not playing on Etihad,” Hinkley said.
“It’s obvious that they come off (Etihad) more jaded.
“This is purely all about you don’t need to take any risks with Jared Polec. Why would you, it’s not a position on the ladder that is up for grabs this week, it’s about getting ready for round one.”