AQUIS Gold Coast Titans player Max King became the first fourth generation NRL player to make his NRL debut during the Gold Coast’s stunning upset against competition leaders the Parramatta Eels on Friday night.
19-year-old King, continued a proud family tradition at Cbus Super Stadium, following in the footsteps of father David, Gold Coast Seagulls, Grand Father John, a Dragons legend and Great-grandfather Cecil who proudly wore the red and green of South Sydney.
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A Maitland and Newcastle Knights junior before signing to play NYC with the Titans, King played crucial minutes as the injury ravaged Gold Coasters outplayed the star-studded Eels.
“It’s a step above, definitely above the twenties from what I’m used to playing but I was just kicking off adrenaline, it just felt like my dream has come true and it’s just awesome to play with those blokes that you have been looking up to your whole childhood," King said.
Never one to shirk the hard work, King was mindful of following through on his pre-game instructions, determined not to feature in Monday's video analysis session.
“I’m sort of used to it with the first-grade pre-season, just the big bodies and Hodgo (Assitant Coach Craig Hodges), our defensive coach gets stuck into the boys if they are not putting their bodies in front, so I was just thinking, I have to put my body in front and avoid getting the spray off him come Monday's video session.”
Young King dived deep into the team’s ticket allocation to ensure that all members of the King family were front and centre for the biggest match of his Rugby League career to date.
“Yeah, it’s been awesome, my family have just been there through all the ups and downs with my rugby league career, a lot of ups, a lot of downs and they have been there through thick and thin and for them to be here and see me fulfil my childhood dream is awesome.”
Dad Craig was there to celebrate the teams win and Max’s debut in the change rooms post-match.
“Absolutely, he’s done fantastic, we are very, very proud of him, you know it was a terrific win for the team and that as well which is great, it’s got us our first win for the season, but no we are absolutely over the moon about him making his debut so Max, well done mate and onwards and upwards now for the club,” Craig said.
An electrician by trade, Max’s key objective off the bench was to add some spark to the weary Titans in both defence and attack.
“I just wanted to come off the bench and just spark as much energy as I could and just really be there for the boys and really just grind out a good team win and yeah I was just listening to some of the key roles in there like Darky (Ryan James) and J WAL (Jarrod Wallace) in the middle, they were really there and talking to me and telling me what they needed out of me, and I was just putting all my effort in and trying to front load everything.”
Learn more about Max King here.