AMONG the disappointment of Saturday's heartbreaking loss to St Kilda, Gold Coast teenager Ben King put together another outing that has Suns fans salivating.
The 202cm key position prospect, taken with the sixth pick in last year's draft, kicked two goals in his team's four-point defeat in Townsville.
He visibly tired as the game on wore on, but King's first-half showing against the seasoned Nathan Brown continued a fine start to his senior career that is now five games old.
Senior Coach Stuart Dew said there'd been "massive" improvement from the 18 year old since he arrived at the club just over six months ago.
"It's his first year of playing regular footy against men," Dew said.
"We love having him in the side.
"He presents a really good target, he's hitting the scoreboard as well.
"We're very happy with the way Ben's progressing."
King finished with eight disposals against the Saints, but more impressive were his five marks – three inside 50 – and four set shots in the opening two quarters.
Two weeks earlier, he took seven marks against Phil Davis in a heavy loss to Greater Western Sydney and last week against North Melbourne he also impressed with two goals.
King's efforts reflected his team's at Riverway Stadium though, with a second-half drop-off costing the Suns.
It was their sixth game this season decided by less than a goal, and the third time they've been on the wrong side of the ledger.
"We led for the majority of the day but in the end they were all over us," Dew said.
"They were able to get from our forward 50 to their forward 50 far too easily than we would like.
"Their skill efficiency was greater than ours on the day and they made us pay."
Following nine straight defeats heading into the bye, Dew said his men had plenty to prove for the remainder of the season.
"We're all looking forward to seeing what the players are capable of," he said.
"At the start of the year we were looking for consistency of effort and by and large I think we've done that.
"At times we've been outclassed and that happens … we need to keep cracking away at it.
"It's not going to happen in 13 weeks. We're excited about the next nine games."