Guy Dickson (Oakleigh Chargers)
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 81 kg
Position: Key position utility
Player Comparison: Jack Riewoldt
Strengths: Marking, leap, athleticism
Weaknesses: Undersized, not a great rebounder
Players of Guy Dickson’s height who are 188 cm traditionally don’t make it to AFL level as key defenders. Sure, Josh Gibson and Dale Morris have, but there is an increasing trend of forwards closer to the 200 cm mark. The third tall forward is often a guy who can run hard up the field and play in a variety of roles. Guy Dickson is one of the few undersized key position players that could make it to AFL level this year – and to be honest, he’s lucky there’s a real lack of tall talent this year.
Having played 50 games alongside Dickson, I know his game inside out. He has one of the best leaps around TAC Cup. He’s the kind of player who might not take mark of the year, but he’ll get close every week. He also has a sensational pair of hands. He rarely drops marks and he’ll beat his opponent in the air, one on one or on the lead. He isn’t particularly tall or heavy, so he doesn’t bully his opponent, but he reads the ball so well that he’ll work to the best position every time.
For most of his career, he played as a key forward who could swing back, or if necessary, play as a ruckman or a rover. His athleticism allowed him to jump all over his opponent in the centre square, despite being five to 10 cm shorter. As a key forward, he knew exactly where to lead and he’d command the ball. He’s a very solid set shot. You wouldn’t say he’s a goal kicking machine, but he’d kick three each week in juniors with the occasional six goal haul. He’s more than capable of playing deep or working up the ground. When playing centre half forward, he’d lead up to the wings and his disposal was good enough to make him an effective link up target.
His field kicking is slightly above par in comparison to the other key position players in this draft, but he admits that it’s something he still needs to improve. He’s been tried as a key defender for most of this year at Oakleigh. It’s been a challenge, but he’s held his own and been named in the bests most weeks. He judges the flight of the ball so well and he’s not afraid to get in front of his man to take the intercept mark rather than spoil from behind. He admitted earlier in the year that he needed to work on his rebounding. It’s not poor, but certainly for him to stand out against his height; he needs to be as versatile as possible.
Dickson is a great on field leader and has the perfect attitude towards training and preparation. He’s worked immensely on his fitness so he can become a consistent player who is always a threat. Previously I likened him to Nick Riewoldt, for his marking, leadership, courage and endurance. In this profile I’ve listed him as similar to Jack Riewoldt, for his goal kicking, spectacular marking and his awareness of where to lead. He’s got the versatility of Jarryd Roughead, the leap of Jack Riewoldt, the courage of Nick Riewoldt and the spoiling and intercept marking ability of Gibson.
He’s indeed a versatile player who stands out. On raw statistics, you’d say he needs to work on getting more of the ball. But he plays to his strengths and recruiters love the athletic types who can turn matches. Considering the lack of height in this draft, Dickson may get taken in the third round or perhaps later.