Richard Dixon has not only provided a dynamic presence at right back in his first season with the Chattanooga Football Club, but the 30-year-old has also embraced another role.
When CFC signed Dixon to its first professional contract the job description included being a player/coach.
He has excelled in both roles helping a rather young team to a professional NISA fall season Eastern Conference championship ahead of their postseason march that begins with a match against LA Force at Detroit's Keyworth Stadium tonight at 8 p.m. The match can be viewed by visiting https://www.nisasoccer.com/watch-live.
"When you look at the makeup of our team we have a lot of rookies and first year players," Dixon said. "This is their first shot at being a professional. They have been a great group of players who have come in wanting to learn and elevate their game to make it to the next level. One of my roles on this team is to help them grow.
"I am the oldest player on the team and a lot of the guys call me uncle. I try to give advice where it's needed and help my teammates. The guys look up to me a certain way and it's something I don't take for granted."
Dixon had a pivotal play in last Wednesday's 3-0 home victory over New Amsterdam to clinch the regular season title.
The veteran defender shut down the opposition's pressure with a long clearance that Juan Hernandez controlled soon after sent a perfect through ball to Zeca who finished with authority for his second goal.
Chattanooga will try to accumulate as many points out of a possible nine in the Group B stage of the eight-team NISA fall tournament playoff to qualify for the semifinals which will be on Sept. 30. The finals will be on Friday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. in Detroit.
"We are good to go," Dixon said. "We are healthy, fit and hungry. We are looking to grab all nine points in matches against LA Force, New York Cosmos and the Cal United Strikers. Our goal all along has been to bring the top trophy back to Chattanooga."
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.