Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has explained the reasons behind why St Kilda nixed a goal-kicking session between he and star forward Max King.
King is considered one of the brightest forward prospects in the AFL, but has struggled with his accuracy in front of goal, kicking 21 behinds compared to just 13 goals through 10 games.
The 20-year-old’s kicking hit rock bottom during St Kilda’s Round 9 loss to Geelong where he kicked 1.5, and Lloyd said King reached out to him after the performance, before St Kilda put a line through the proposed meeting.
“Max got in touch with me after the 1.5 game (against Geelong) and I said, ‘I’m willing to do anything we can to get you going’,” he told 3AW.
“I actually said to Max, ‘The last thing I’d want is for you to do a hamstring or anything like that having a kick with me, so go and get this ticked off by your footy club’.
“When he went and spoke to them, they said, ‘We prefer to keep it internal’. I’ve got no issues at all, that’s just the decision St Kilda have made.”
King’s confidence has appeared shot in recent weeks, and Lloyd said he stressed to the Saints star that he was not the first footballer to undergo kicking struggles.
“In my conversations with him, I’ve said to him there’s not one player or one forward in the game who hasn’t been through what you’ve been through, and Max isn’t getting the ball he’d like either so I just said to him, ‘Keep throwing yourself at marks, keep going for that next shot’,” he said.
“He’s a pretty confident guy in that regard and he’s not playing with that much confidence, but he’s got that mindset that he wants to keep going at the ball, and if he misses, then he misses and so be it.
“It’s amazing, I’ve had six bad ones in a row and then you lay a great tackle, then you do a smother, then suddenly a ball starts bouncing your way that didn’t bounce your way.
“You get told early in your career that it’s between the years and you don’t believe it, but it’s amazing how much is between the ears, and that’s where he’s at at the moment.”
King’s kicking form has been the polar opposite to that of his twin brother, Ben, who has booted 32.14 from 11 games this season for the Gold Coast Suns.