St Kilda coach Brett Ratten has praised Max King for executing at “critical times” during the Saints’ stirring away win over Adelaide.
King kicked an equal career-high six goals, including two crucial majors in the final quarter to help the Saints overrun the Crows.
The 21-year-old’s kicking for goal has been wayward at times, but the emerging key forward will take enormous confidence from his perfect night in front of the big sticks.
Ratten is pleased with King’s development from both a physical and mental perspective.
“We watch Max really closely and we probably critique his game harder than anyone,” he told Sportsday.
“But he’s really improving. He’s developing physically and mentally as a young man.
“What we see is how he can change a game of football and sometimes it’s not always him marking the ball, but some of those big contests that he creates to bring others into the game is really critical for us.
“His performance on the weekend to kick 6-0, and it wasn’t just the 6-0, it was at vital times that he did it which the team needed.
“We were trying to get some momentum, but then he kicks a 50-metre bomb and a 45-metre bomb on a 45-degree angle – they were big goals at critical times.
“That’s great leadership development for him to do that in a game and get his reward.”
King is equal-third in the Coleman Medal with 29 goals from 10 games.