Ben King has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal, but the re-signing is much more than a player simply committing to a club.
One of the most sought-after signatures is no longer available for at least two years. King’s new deal will keep him at the club until 2024. The 21-year-old committed his immediate future in what is a welcomed piece of news for the Queensland-based club.
But the news of King re-signing with the Suns is so much more than a player signing a new deal. It is perhaps a changing of the times for a club that has struggled to make any real impact in the competition since its first season in the AFL back in 2011.
Often ridiculed for its poor performances and lack of facilities, the Suns at times were seen as a laughing stock. The club couldn’t retain players with the likes of Charlie Dixon, Steven May, Dion Prestia, Harley Bennell, and Brandon Matera all moving on for greener pastures.
AFL legend Gary Ablett Jr. was the club’s inaugural captain but so much of the club’s success was on the little master’s shoulders before he ultimately returned to Geelong to finish his career.
From the outside, the Gold Coast situation has not been good viewing. Now, that could all be about to change and it starts with King recommitting.
King commitment massive for the Suns
A young player with the AFL world at his feet, King sees his future in Queensland. That is a huge coup for the Suns and a massive vote of confidence for the club. It was thought that he may try and unite with his brother Max at St Kilda but the fact that Ben re-signed with the Suns is great for the football program.
King staying on for another two years is proof that finally, the Suns are on the right track in their development. Retaining players is a big part of being a successful club. Young guns in Izak Rankine and Jack Lukosius (both 21 years old) were rumored to be singled out by both Adelaide and Port Adelaide in an attempt to snare them away. It felt like a mere certainty that the pair’s future was away from the Suns.
While it might still be the case, luring the exciting duo home to SA now proves to be anything but a formality.
Touk Miller signed a lucrative deal to keep him at the club until 2027 back in November. Now King is staying on, suddenly the Suns are doing something that has been notoriously bad at, retaining players.
In addition, it is also a glowing endorsement from the player himself. Gold Coast is the place where he wants to be and continue his footballing journey. The place where he will make a name for himself and win accolades. He sees the best chance of that happening at the Suns.
Often called a basket case and even talks of the AFL cutting its losses, the club has been teetering over the last couple of years. Poor crowd attendances and bad performances on the field, it was looking like the end for the struggling club.
Now, however, there is a different mood around the club. Players are re-signing and the on field results are positive. That gives the organization confidence that the group knows the club is going in the right direction.
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King will not be sighted this season unfortunately. He suffered a dreaded ACL injury back in February. But the Suns have locked him away and are hoping that others will follow.
Coming into season 2022, there is some hype surrounding the Suns. After defeating both Port Adelaide and Geelong in its two preseason games, Gold Coach heads into the new season with renewed confidence.
The Suns have been here before, however. Entering the new season with renewed hope, only for it to crash and burn. Then the inevitable questions surrounding the club.
But in 2022, the aura around the Gold Coast Suns is a little different. There is now expectation. With players committing to the cause and Stuart Dew now into his fifth season as coach, now could be the time we finally see the Suns produce on the field.
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