How King deal can save the Suns
GOLD Coast Suns have been on AFL life support for the past two years.
And when the league stepped in again dramatically last month with more draft concessions, it was seen as the last roll of the dice.
But the signature of one 19-year-old tall forward has significantly changed the outlook for the AFL's struggling franchise club.
Stream the full or condensed replay of the 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >
Ben King's decision to sign with the Suns in the face of extreme interest from not only St Kilda, but Essendon as well, is arguably the most pivotal moment in the history of the club.
King has shown belief that the club can finally turn things around.
Now, there is breath, and a pulse.
Even better, football's most sickly patient is now sitting up in bed and having some chicken soup.
List chief Craig Cameron should break out the nicest bottle of red he has because for all the stress and worry of King's situation over the past year, the veteran list manager, in the end, has nailed the three-pointer from long range.
And this isn't just a one-year extension.
King has recommitted until the end of 2022. That may have cost the club more than $500,000 a year but he is worth it, without doubt.
What a huge relief and boost that must be for his Suns teammates who can now look forward to the arrival of gun youngsters Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson with the first two picks in the national draft.
Izak Rankine is a jet small forward who can do Chad Wingard things and will hopefully be ready for a full season after an injury-ravaged first year in the AFL.
St Kilda and Essendon will be disappointed, as the Saints especially were big into the twin brother of Max King, hoping to combine the pair in red, white and black for the best part of the next decade.
But they will have to look elsewhere.
The feeling around the whole league on Monday morning is the King call is brilliant for football, because the Suns have been a basket case for too long.
Now King is a player definitely worth watching at Metricon Stadium.
He has pace, athleticism and a great pair of hands to spearhead the forward line for the next few years.
Now, Gold Coast have gone from reverse, into first gear.
King's manager Robbie D'Orazio has been a big believer in the Suns, and has fully supported King's intention to recommit, despite all the recent headlines about St Kilda's keen interest.
Together, King and D'Orazio held their nerve.
This year could have been another disaster if King left. Lots of club people thought if King departed, it could be time to shut the gates.
Instead, a 19-year-old from Bayside, has made a stand for a footy club he has only known for one year.
A massively important one.
King said he had taken time to think through the decision, but was ultimately keen to stay north to help build a bright future for Gold Coast.
"Since the end of the season I've taken the opportunity to reflect on my first year. I'm loving my time at the club, am excited by the challenge we have in front of us and have confidence we can achieve all we want to in the future," King said.
"Everyone at the club has made my family and I feel extremely welcome which helped with making the transition to be a professional footballer in the AFL.
"It's clear to see the direction of the footy club, we've got a great group of players and people who are all buying into the club's vision and that's definitely something I was keen to be a part of.
"I'm looking forward to putting my head down, continuing to work hard on developing my game and setting us up for a big 2020 season."