Saints back Max King's internal mentors

·2-min read

St Kilda co-captain Jack Steele is adamant the AFL club has the right people in place to develop Max King's game despite reports the key forward has sought outside help to fix his goal-kicking woes.

The talented 20-year-old has kicked 13.21 this year in his second full season as the Saints' focal point in attack.

He has been working closely with St Kilda coach Brett Ratten, assistant Jarryd Roughead and football boss David Rath.

But King was reportedly keen to do an additional goal-kicking session with retired Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd - his former high school coach - after booting 1.5 against Geelong in round nine.

There is some conjecture around why the meeting was ultimately called off, with Lloyd telling multiple outlets St Kilda wanted King to "keep it internal".

"As a young player you can't have too many voices impeding on you and getting yourself confused," Steele said on Tuesday.

"I feel like for Max he's put his hand up and said he's pretty keen just to focus on us."

King, a childhood St Kilda fan, has been touted as the long-term successor to St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt ever since he was selected with pick four at the 2018 draft.

King kicked 22.20 from 18 games in a promising return last season after knee and hamstring injuries meant he did not play a senior match in his first year at the club.

"You sort of do forget that he's in his second year of AFL football ... he's only played (28) games and there's a lot of expectation on him," Steele said.

"I feel like he's doing quite well and he's dealing with all the expectations."

First-year skipper Steele has offered advice to his younger teammate but is wary of overstepping the mark.

"There aren't too many people trying to talk to him because they understand how frustrating it can be as a young player when there are so many voices and you get confused," Steele said.

"People are definitely knowing their role.

"He has a close relationship with Roughy, who has a lot to say with what he does and trains.

"For me as a captain, I definitely have a word with him, but we try and limit how many people go to him at once because you can confuse him a bit."

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