BEN KING is stronger and faster and ready to "take the next step" with a powerful showing at Gold Coast's return to training on Monday.
King was noticeably bigger through the upper body as the Suns' first-to-fourth-year players completed a 2km time trial followed by a 90-minute pre-season skills session.
The young power forward also improved dramatically in the time trial from where he was 12 months ago.
Teammate Wil Powell, who finished second in the club's best and fairest last season, said it's no accident King looked so good.
"He's been working so hard in the off-season. He's been in the gym every single day, running three to four times a week and it showed on the 2k'er," Powell said.
"He's looking a lot bigger and stronger. He should take a lot of confidence out of that.
"Everyone's looking at him saying 'he's going to take the next step'."
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King was not the only young Sun to impress, with last year's No.7 pick in the NAB AFL Draft, Elijah Hollands, also turning heads with his time trial performance.
Hollands looks ready to push for a senior debut early in the season after overcoming a ruptured ACL and playing a handful of VFL games in 2021.
He finished third in overcast and humid conditions for the time trial, narrowly trailing winner Josh Corbett and midfielder Noah Anderson.
"He's going to be a jet," Powell said.
"I look forward to seeing him training and cracking into the squad. It'll be a sight to see watching him play."