Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd believes it’s “very naive” of St Kilda coach Brett Ratten to think Max King’s kicking woes were not technical, and says he is willing to help the young gun for free.
King’s goalkicking is once again under scrutiny after he kicked 0.5 in the Saints’ loss to Brisbane on Friday night. He visibly lost confidence in his abilities with each miss.
Despite King’s continued struggles with his kicking, Ratten insisted outside help was not necessary to help the youngster.
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Lloyd said he was willing to help the young gun, who he coached at the high school level, for free, but said a full-time coach was required to help King reverse his habits.
“He needs someone with him a lot more than someone just walking in once or twice a week,” he told Nine’s AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“It’s got to be in the off-season of a six-month period working with him day after day after day. He’s had habits now for 15 years, so it’s not as if you can suddenly change those habits overnight. He’s got to be broken down and restarted all over again.”
According to Lloyd, the biggest issue plaguing the 21-year-old is to do with his slow run-up which results in a lack of momentum.
“When you’re coming in, you need momentum through your run-up,” he said.
“When you’re walking in slow like Max is, to generate power you have to lean back with your body. If you’ve got speed on the ball and you’re going in quicker, you’re down over it (the ball ) and you can get your ball-drop down.
“I’m not sure why he’s spinning the ball as he’s running in. There is no momentum. You should be kicking the ball and then coming forward and taking another step after you kick the footy. Instead of his shoulders being upright and over it , Max King is (leaning) back.
“With the slow run-up, the spinning of the ball, nothing’s going to change. I think the starting point is to get more speed on his run which will help him get his follow-through and momentum.
“He obviously doesn’t know (the right technique). I don’t know who’s working with him, but I haven’t seen anything change for him. His technique is being highlighted year after year (and) he’s letting himself down. “
Lloyd also called out St Kilda’s game-day coaches, suggesting the young gun could’ve been notified of the obvious technical flaw during the contest.
“Chris Scott is coaching the lights out at the moment,” he said.
“When they (Geelong) weren’t performing against Port Adelaide at three-quarter time, he came down with a laptop, he knelt down, and he was showing his team what they were doing wrong and what they could do to fix it.
Lloyd opens up on Saints’ King call
“I didn’t see anyone get to Max King. Why wouldn’t you cut up the vision of the third quarter and say, ‘Max, look at what position you’re in, this is what you could do better’.”
Lloyd’s comments came after Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes slammed the Saints for refusing to grant King outside help when he first struggled and reached out to Lloyd for some coaching last season.
“It was absolutely precious and it was arrogant for St Kilda to not accept the help that Max is asking for,” he said.
“We’re 12 months down the track and Max King has kicked 0.5 in a game that St Kilda needed to win to keep its final hopes alive.
“Once again I’ll say it is arrogant, it is precious, and they are looking after their own ego. Max King is crying out for help, he’s asked for help, and his football club is denying him of that.”
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