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Grand final spotlight: Redcliffe Dolphins lock Charlie Dickson

Charlie Dickson is no stranger to a grand final stage.

The hard-running Redcliffe Dolphins lock will play in Saturday’s Cyril Connell Cup premiership decider, after his side – coached by his father, Larry – overcame fellow Pool C contenders Souths Logan Magpies to qualify for the big dance last weekend.

Dickson, who started playing rugby league at the age of five, may not have been here before with the Dolphins, but he has played in three straight grand finals with his beloved junior club, the Moreton Bay Raiders.

And he won all three.

While he knows the Cyril Connell Cup is another level of football, Dickson also knows he has to treat Saturday’s clash with the Townsville Blackhawks like any other game.

Dickson in action for last week's semi-final. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Dickson in action for last week's semi-final. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

“It means a lot to me,” Dickson said of progressing through to Saturday’s match at Totally Workwear Stadium.

“It’s my first representative grand final, the first grand final in a state championship. It’s pretty special.

“This weekend, we just have to go out there, give your best. No one goes out to lose a grand final. Everyone will be firing. The one percenters is what gets you over the line.

“It’s harder to win the grand final than it is to make it. It’s the next step up from what we’ve done (in the semi-final). Townsville will definitely be a bit of a challenge but I look forward to it.”

What a weapon: Charlie Dickson

Throughout the Cyril Connell Cup regular season, the Dolphins got off to a rocky start with a draw and a loss but then after a Round 3 bye won four straight, topping it off with a fifth victory last week over the Magpies.

The 24-18 win at Logan Metro Sports Complex was a bit sloppy at times, especially in wet and muddy conditions, but Dickson is hopeful it gave himself and his teammates a little wake up call ahead of Saturday.

“Our backs were up against it for the end of the first half,” he said.

“The boys came back in at halftime. We spoke about what we needed to do and we came out and got away with the win.

“We started the first half pretty good but we just went away from what we knew. We just had to get back to what we were doing and we knew we were going to win. It’s as simple as that.

“I thought it was pretty good but I can definitely build upon it for next week.”

Dickson, who has been contracted to the Dolphins NRL since the age of 15, has enjoyed a strong season of Cyril Connell Cup.

He was named the Queensland Rugby League’s “weapon” of the week for Round 5 and Townsville coach Nathan Norford has dubbed him one of the best locks in the competition.

With his sights set on a big future in the game, Dickson said playing in the Cyril Connell Cup has only made him a stronger player.

“We’re versing the best kids in each area every week so you’re getting better and better every week with your game,” he said.

“That’s the only thing that will happen – you’ll get better and better with each game.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from in footy or what club you play at, if you’re good enough, you’ll make it. You’ll play your best footy wherever you are.

“I want to make it to top grade, the NRL, and be successful in that area. That’s where I want to go in the future.”

But first, his focus is on Saturday.

Dickson said the reason he fell in love with rugby league in the first place was due to the people and his teammates.

“I just like the comradery with the boys,” he said.

“It’s all like a brotherhood. That’s what I really enjoy about it and just having fun. And winning as well. I love winning.”

And for him, there is no comradery like the bonds formed at the Dolphins this year.

For Dickson, the secret to their success so far is their ability to come together – something he hopes to see this weekend.

“We’re all willing to work for each other,” he said.

“We had a really hard pre-season and we all formed a really good bond. Because of how much we’re willing to work for each other, that’s what gets us over the line every week.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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