pictured - Krista's Two7eleven Magazine captures Jermaine Dixon scotting over for one of his many trademark tries in Magpie colours.
By Peter (Parra) Montgomery
I am predicting that one of the Magpie players set to benefit by the influx of firepower into the Club for 2013 season, is mercurial half back Jermaine Dixon - the man known as “Lightning” to the strong legion of fans who support the Club.
Dicko’s best season with the Club was in 2009, the year the Magpies won the Group 20 Reserve Grade premiership.
It is no coincident that the Magpies fielded a strong pack of forwards that year, with players of the quality of Semisi Bale (Thunderbolt) and former Melbourne Storm premiership star Ben Roarty.
The Club had size and willing workers in the squad with big Mosese Uluibau (Moi Moi), Dave Kourilagi, Tevita (Tequilla) Biumaiwai, Danny Byrnes David King, Rene (Bomber) Woods, and the Bullet, Phil Bastow.
When you have players of that experience and quality laying the platform, it makes it easy for the nippy blokes to show out.
2009 was Jermaine’s second in senior football. He improved greatly from his first year in 2008, and again showed even more development in 2010, when he was the winner of the Group 20 Reserve Grade Player of the Year and joint leading try scorer in the competition.
2010 was the season Dicko was switched by the then coach, Ian Woods from half back to dummy half.
It enabled Jermaine to use his explosive speed and capitalise on any loose defensive play in the middle of the ruck.
Me, I prefer to see 'Lightning' in the half back role. He is very strong defensively, his strength in a tackle is deceptive, and it is not rare to see him latch onto a big forward and drive him backwards.
He has speed of the mark, and good vision in attack, coupled with a good passing and kicking game.
If his game has a fault, it is that he tends to kick for himself, or throw a dummy pass when a player outside him is in a better position.
It is not a bad fault, as he probably score 95% of the time he takes the option.
Dicko should be a key man under the coaching of Mo Clune and Neil John Nisbet.
What Neil-John doesn’t know about half back play is not worth knowing.
The six time premiership winning coach will put the polish on Dicko, not that there is much more needed.
With players of the calibre of Mo Clune, Aaron Sweeney, Shae Tamati, Tuck McLean, Will Sullivan, Jamie Woods, Caleb Thomson, Harley Hey, Simon Parr, David Steedman, John Weymouth and others fighting for places in the top 17; the backline, especially the blokes like Dicko, Mitch Rosser, Pat Miller, Shaun Aylett, Ryan Gash, John Payne, Lloyd Schulz, and the Kennedy brothers, Shayne and Damian, should be licking their lips in anticipation.
Jermaine is the bloke I am looking forward to see play in 2013. He had a mixed season in 2012, missing a lot of games with hamstring injuries.
He is fully recovered now, and keen to get back into it.
Dicko loves training, that is one reason why he can give 110% every time he takes the field.
I am predicting 'Lightning' Jermaine Dixon to be the name on everyone’s lips in 2013. He is a match winner, and can turn defence into attack with his pace off the mark.
The acquisition of quality players around him gives Jermaine the “Licence to Thrill” the large number of Magpie supporters.