Ben King celebrates a goal during the match between Gold Coast and Essendon at People First Stadium in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

BEN King says a simple goalkicking philosophy has helped skyrocket him to the equal lead in this season's Coleman Medal race.

Gold Coast's spearhead has been a model of consistency in 2024, kicking 36 goals through 12 matches to perch himself alongside dual winner Charlie Curnow.

He kicked four in a match-shaping performance against Essendon on Sunday night, having the better of his duel with Bombers' recruit Ben McKay.


It marked another step in the 23-year-old's ascension that has seen constant improvement since rupturing his ACL and missing the entire 2022 season.

Although his goals are a nice result, coach Damien Hardwick believes there's plenty more to King's game.

"What I've been really excited with is Ben's ability to compete," Hardwick said following his team's 11-point win.

"He doesn't get beaten in the air, he brings the ball to ground and guys like 'Longy' (Ben Long) and 'Banger' (Ben) Ainsworth, Tommy Berry, Nick Holman, can then get their games up and going.

"I've been so pleased with his ability to compete in the air and compete at ground level.

"Defensively we've challenged him a little bit and he's certainly improved in that aspect of his game."

Ben King celebrates kicking a goal during the match between Gold Coast and Essendon at People First Stadium in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

King agrees, saying he's just scratching the surface of what he can become as a player.

"I am feeling confident," King told

"I don't think I'm near my limit, to be honest.

"I'm trying to get better every year and every game and every training session. I don't feel there's a limit at this stage."

King kicked 47 goals in 2021, missed the next season and then came back with 40 in 20 games last year.

And although Hardwick's assessment is bang on – King's aerial presence and competitiveness has gone to a new level in recent weeks – it's his ability to capitalise on his chances that has caught the eye.

There was no better example than in the tense fourth quarter than his set shot from 35m that gave Gold Coast the lead – a simple enough shot, but one he nailed under pressure.


King has kicked 36.13 for the season and has a shot at goal accuracy of 65.5 per cent, which is bettered only by Fremantle's Josh Treacy among the season's top-10 goalkickers.

"I've stripped it back and I keep it pretty simple," he said.

"I've learnt the less I think, the better I kick.

"I've just been trying to kick and not think about it, and they've been going through.

"I try and stay consistent. The last couple of years I've been pretty set in my routine and keeping it simple and it's holding me in good stead."