King’s strong Suns trial, firms for opening blockbuster

Murray Wenzel |

Gold Coast key forward Ben King’s confident intra-club hit out has him on track to play in the AFL club’s opening round blockbuster against Richmond.

The Suns star battled soreness in his surgically-repaired knee in the off-season but showed no signs of that in a powerful, sustained showing on Thursday.

King kicked one sensational goal after bringing the ball to the ground himself and played two of the three thirds.

He is unlikely to play the Lions next Thursday in a practice game but should get minutes in the club’s final preseason chance against GWS before being unleashed against the Tigers.

“I pulled up well, felt really good out there and felt I was ready to take that next step into match sim and really enjoyed being out there to be honest,” he said.

“I’ve just taken a bit longer to build back up after the off-season. 

“I’ve had a few ongoing niggles with my knee but thanks to all the staff and support around me I’ve gotten to a point now where I’m ready to play.”

It would be a big in for a big occasion, new coach Damien Hardwick straight into a clash with his long-time club Richmond.

The Suns have renewed hopes under the three-time premiership coach, bullish in their desire to crack the top-eight for the first time.

The Suns are excited to be playing under new coach Damien Hardwick. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

“It’s exciting,” King said of the Hardwick way. 

“I think back to watching those Richmond premierships a few years ago and they played such an attacking, high pressure and exciting brand of football. 

“We’ve got our own strengths as a side but I think that (Tigers) style of play will really help us this year.”

Off contract beyond this year, King is yet to commit to a two-year contract that is on the table.

“But as I’ve said all along, I’m loving it up here and no doubt that part of it will take care of itself in due course,” he said.