Jenkins fears for AFL Suns if King departs

Justin Chadwick |

Former Adelaide and Geelong forward Josh Jenkins says he’s fearful for the future of Gold Coast if star spearhead Ben King leaves at the end of 2022.

King’s contract with the Suns runs out at the end of this year, and his future is set to be a huge talking point until he re-signs or announces that he’s leaving.

The 21-year-old booted an impressive 47 goals last season, and the Victorian will be heavily chased by a number of Melbourne-based clubs.

His brother Max plays for St Kilda, while Essendon has also been heavily linked to Ben.

Gold Coast entered the AFL in 2011 but are yet to play finals.

Rival clubs have continuously poached some of the Suns’ brightest young players over the years, with the club also causing the AFL a huge financial headache.

Season 2022 looms as a big year for the Suns both on and off the field, but Jenkins is fearful about what will happen if King decides to leave at the end of the year.

“I pray that he stays. I pray that he stays up there because I’m fearful for the Gold Coast Suns if he leaves,” Jenkins told SEN.

“It’s that big for them. I pray that he stays up there.”

Former Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes can’t see a way that King will re-sign.

“He’s not staying. I’m giving it zero chance,” Cornes said.

“The really difficult ones to value are the young players that haven’t played a lot of footy or achieved much like a Ben King, but the upside and you’re paying for potential.

“It’s dangerous, we’ve seen it with Jon Patton and Tom Boyd and other key positions players that haven’t developed.

“But you’d think Ben King is going to be one of the five highest paid players in the game.”

The Suns’ ineptitude was on full display late last year when they delisted Hugh Greenwood in what was deemed a tactical move.

Gold Coast planned to pick up Greenwood again in the national draft, but North Melbourne swooped to sign the midfielder as a delisted free agent.

Stuart Dew is entering his fifth year as Gold Coast coach and is under huge pressure to produce results.