AFL 2020: Max King – Rising Star Nominee Rd 12 v Essendon

The next man to feature in the class of 2020 will feature doubtlessly in the voting at the end. He will feature for many a year to come. How fitting it was in Round 12, a round defined by the key forwards, Max King put forward his nomination. Three goals in the Saints domination of Essendon, he was impossible to miss. He was impossible to overlook and now he is in the running for an award he will have a large say in.

Gerard Whateley. AFL 360, 18th August 2020

It took the AFL until Round 12 to make official what St Kilda supporters have known all along, that Max King is a Rising Star. The 20-year-old 12 gamer who already demands the attention of the opposition’s best (and often second best) defenders again provided a glimpse of what the future holds with a tantalising performance against Essendon.

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While he would end the day with three goals, with two in the first quarter along with two other scoring opportunities, this looked likely to be his cut loose match. He wouldn’t reach those heights but with six marks and five score involvements he again mounted a compelling argument that he is the most exciting young forward in the competition.

Speaking to Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson on AFL 360 he admitted playing for St Kilda was a dream come true. “Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s a great time to be a St Kilda player. It’s something that I dreamed of growing up aswell as a St Kilda man. So I’m very lucky,” King said.

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He credited Assistant Coach Jarryd Roughead for helping him with his preparations. “Roughy’s been really good with that. Obviously I’m going to want to go out there and play well each week and do everything I can but he’s been pretty good in managing my expectations and just trying to get better each week.”

King believes that the connectivity in the Saints forward line is growing stronger each week. “I think as we’ve played more and more together we understand each other a bit better. We’ve got a pretty good thing going on down there in the forward line. As we play more and more we’re learning how each other play and how to work together so its really good,” he said.

After spending 2019 on the sidelines, he admitting to becoming more comfortable in the role he was playing. “Definitely. I think each game you learn something new and I’m just focusing on trying to get better. Obviously missed a bit of footy in the last couple of years so I’m just pretty grateful to be out there each week.”

Has twin brother Ben been an inspiration? “Absolutely. I love tuning in and watching him play every week. Last year when I was sitting on the sidelines that was pretty much the highlight of my week just watching him play,” he said.

He admitted that his parents are sitting firmly on the fence when it comes to which of the twins teams they support. “They’ve got a bit of both. Mum’s got a jumper with half St Kilda half Gold Coast and she busts that out occasionally.” Like most St Kilda supporters, we are hoping that Ben does the right thing by his parents and makes the move south to join his brother in the not too distant future.

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