Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd has explained why St Kilda knocked back a training session between him and emerging star forward Max King.
King, the fourth selection in the 2018 draft, has struggled with accuracy in front of goal this season, kicking 13.21 from seven games.
After St Kilda's Round 9 loss to Geelong, where King kicked 1.5, the 20-year-old reached out to Lloyd, the Bombers great confirmed on Sportsday.
“Max (King) got in touch with me after kicking 1.5 against Geelong (and reached out for help),” Lloyd said.
“I said to Max that the last thing I would want him to do is a hamstring (at a private training session) so I (asked him) to go and get it ticked off by the footy club.
“When he went and spoke to them, they said they’d prefer to keep it internal.
“I have no issues at all and that’s the decision St Kilda has made.”
"Max messaged me within 20 minutes of the game where he kicked 1.5..."@matthewlloyd18 says he was approached by out-of-form Saint Max King to help him with his goal-kicking, but St Kilda said no.#9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/O9gwkHYrd5
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 31, 2021
Lloyd also said that he offered the 20-year-old some advice on his game.
“I’ve said to him that there isn’t one forward or player in the game that hasn’t been through what you’re going through,” he said.
“Max isn’t getting the ball he’d like either, so I just said to him to keep throwing ourselves at marks and going for your next shot.
“He’s a pretty confident guy in that regard. He’s not playing with a lot of confidence (at the moment) but he has that mindset that he wants to keep going at the moment.
“If he misses, then so be it.”
Throughout his time at the Saints, King has been working on his goalkicking with former Hawks forward and current assistant coach Jarryd Roughead and the head of football program David Rath.
Speaking to the Herald Sun on Monday after the club vetoed the session, Saints football boss Simon Lethlean said that club wanted King to "keep it to the one source".
"I think Max was in discussions with people here and wanted to try and keep it as simple as possible" Lethlean said.
"Not be doing stuff with Rathy and Rough and then doing stuff with Lloydy here and there ... just try to keep it to the one source"
King is expected to line up in St Kilda's Round 12 clash against the Swans before a Round 13 bye, though Lloyd is confident the young forward will find his best form soon.
Max King is 20, with the pressure of carrying an entire forward line behind him. Key forwards are very rarely elite at 20, even in a good side
— Gordon (@beetgordon_) May 29, 2021
“I’ve said to other players, not just Max: ‘I’ve had six bad ones in a row and you lay a great tackle and then you do a smother and then suddenly a ball starts bouncing your way when it didn’t bounce your way (previously)’. It’s amazing,” Lloyd said.
“You get told early in your career ‘things are between the ears’ and you don’t believe them. But it’s amazing how much is between the ears"