Matthew Lloyd is supremely confident that St Kilda youngster Max King will have an enormous impact on the club.
Essendon great Lloyd coached King, and his twin brother Ben, at Haileybury College prior to them being drafted in 2018 and has seen first-hand the attributes the towering, athletic prodigy will bring to the Saints for years to come.
The 19-year-old forward, who impressed with four goals in an intra-club match on Thursday morning, is yet to debut at AFL level but is so richly talented that Saints supporters will have no choice but to hitch their wagons of hope to him.
“Max King could add 10,000 members at the St Kilda Football Club over the next two to three years by what he will do,” Lloyd said on Sportsday.
“The excitement, he can put the number 12s on the back (of jumpers) by what he can do.
“That’s what he can do for St Kilda as an individual.
“I think (Nic) Naitanui does it for West Coast and I think King can do it for St Kilda.”
Lloyd touched on the characteristics that will make King such a top quality player.
“You hate putting extra pressure on kids,” he added.
“(North Melbourne’s) Luke Davies-Uniacke was the best I’ve coached at junior level but he hasn’t been able to transfer it to AFL level yet, so you have to be extremely careful.
“But on Max, where he’s different to Ben, Max is an even more aggressive forward.
“He’s unbelievable below his knees for a 200-centimetre player and he’s quick. I think that’s where he’s going to cause a lot of trouble straight away for opposition defenders because he’s got the reach like Joe Daniher but he’s also got the aggression in the air.
“It’s just about his body. He’s had so many injuries throughout his junior career. It’s just about can we see the best of him?
“Because if his body stands up, we are going to see a very unique player. Buddy Franklin is unique in terms of its hard to liken him to other players. Max King is unique in that we don’t know another player like him.”
King’s former mentor also highlighted the young gun’s desire to succeed and how if not for a serious knee injury he may have ended up another club.
“He has a very mature head, he wants to be the best right now,” Lloyd said further of the number 4 selection.
“He was very disappointed, not in a selfish way, but he wanted to be the number one draft pick.
“That knee (injury) stopped him from being the number one draft pick. It would have been fascinating to see what Carlton (did).”