AFL legend Wayne Carey has ripped St Kilda for barring goal-kicking icon Matthew Lloyd from coaching star forward Max King after his wayward showing against Brisbane.
In what was a must-win game for St Kilda, King seemed to be overcome by a horrible case of the yips, kicking 0.5 as the Saints went down by 15 points.
The 22-year-old’s confidence in his set shot kicking appeared to visibly fade throughout the contest, prompting questions over his technique.
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While King has enjoyed a breakout season with 47 goals, he has also kicked 41 behinds. His career stats so far read 107 goals and 91 behinds through three seasons in the AFL.
King struggled mightily in front of goal against the Lions, finishing with five behinds for the match (Getty)
King and his twin brother, Ben, share a close relationship with Lloyd, who was their high school coach at Haileybury, but St Kilda has refused to let Lloyd work with their young star. The call from the club is one that continues to leave Carey baffled.
“It’s between his ears,” Carey told Triple M of King’s struggles.
“Sport at the top level is 90 per cent above the shoulders, he has to master his own mind.
“All these guys are willing to help. If Nick Riewoldt, Matty Lloyd’s coming to Max King and the club’s saying, ‘No we don’t want your help’, that’s bordering on stupidity.”
King’s game against the Lions was reminiscent of a game last season against Geelong where he had similar goalkicking issues.
St Kilda continues to refuse to let Matthew Lloyd work with young gun Max King (Getty)
Speaking for 3AW at the time, Lloyd revealed how the Saints star had reached out to him for assistance before the club stepped in.
“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’,” Lloyd said last year.
“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.”
Following King’s tough night out against the Lions, Saints coach Brett Ratten suggested he didn’t need help from outside the club, backing the young gun to overcome his kicking issues.
King and the Saints were left shattered after the match, having blown a golden opportunity (Getty)
“He’s doing a power of work and what I do know is I want Max King in my corner,” Ratten said.
“He’ll be at our footy club for 10 years and when we look back, we’ll be saying what a great player he is and what he’s done.
“Tonight he had a night where it didn’t work for him. He did everything right bar the finish.
“He’s 22 years of age, we love what he brings to the footy club, and he’s developing, but we know he’s doing the work.
“Sometimes you don’t get the reward all the time, but he’ll keep doing that and, you watch, he’ll turn it around.”
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