The earliest memories I have of playing football with Ben was kicking the footy in the backyard growing up.
Dad would kick balls to us and we’d compete against each other one-on-one. We’ve always been competitive but that was driven from a young age.
When we were younger I definitely had the edge over Ben, although he’d probably tell you differently.
He took a little longer to come on and there was a point where Dad was actually a bit worried he wasn’t going to make it!
I’m not sure Ben would admit that, but it’s definitely true!
As we grew older, things started to even out a bit more and we’ve been close in ability since.
We’re pretty similar people, too.
I’m always asked to dish the dirt on Ben or provide an insight into what his character is like, but we’re so similar that it’d be embarrassing for me!
The biggest difference between us, is that Ben is more of a hothead than I am. I wouldn’t fire him up because he’s an angry ant.
Football has always been a dream for the both of us.
From a young age we were driven to give ourselves the best opportunity to play AFL on the big stage.
Being able to share draft night with Ben last year was an incredibly special moment.
It was a great night for us to be able to reflect on how far we’ve come together.
It’s been amazing to watch Ben settle into the Suns’ team this year.
In his first few games it was clear that he was getting used to the bigger bodies and the speed of AFL football, but the last month he’s been able to string together some really good performances.
He’s becoming more and more comfortable with his role each week and it’s starting to show.
Although we’re both competitive people, we want each other to succeed – that might change when we play against each other for the first time.
But, that is another experience I’m looking forward to.
As strange as it will be to line up against Ben for the first-time in a game it’ll be a clear highlight.
It’ll be great for Mum and Dad to have us back at the same stadium, as well.
Hopefully Stuart Dew swings him into defence for a game – it’ll be an even match-up that way!
AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES IN 2019
Round 13 – Dylan Clarke (Essendon)
Round 17 – Shai Bolton (Richmond)
Round 19 – Ben King (Gold Coast Suns)