Jack Knows The Hard Work Is Only Just About To Begin

Jack King wants to postpone his dad’s retirement for as long as possible - and ensure the word relegation doesn’t appear on his CV.

Ebbsfleet United’s experienced defender will turn 35 by the time next season kicks off.

He doesn’t know exactly what the future holds on the field for him, but he already has plans for when the day comes that he hangs up his boots.

When he leaves pro football behind, it seems like he will take over the family groundwork business from his dad Tony.

He doesn’t know when that moment will be but there’s a risk, of course, that his final act may be walking off the pitch a relegated player.

That, he says, just can’t be allowed to happen.

King told us: “Dad has mentioned it a few times. He says ‘hurry up with the football, knock it on the head I want to retire.’

“It’s about keeping him working for as long as I possibly can! I’ve loved playing, loved my career - I have been lucky enough to be a pro for the past nine years. Before that I was working for the business and that is eventually what I will go on to do I’m sure.

“When that will be, who knows. But I can’t bow out from the game with a relegation. I haven’t had one in what 16 or 17 years and I don’t want one now.

“It’s important to be as proud as you can of your career so I want to keep that record and the only way to do that is to turn the season around.”

Fleet can take a step towards that by impressing in front of the BT Sport cameras at Harrogate Town.

Ten points from their first 14 games wasn’t in the script, but the gap is only four points and King, the former Preston and Stevenage player who can operate in the middle of the park and in defence, is very much into body language.

“When things aren’t going well very often the training ground isn’t a good place to be and you sometimes see a division,” he said.

“That is not the case here. Everyone is getting on and as a group we’re geared to getting the season going. There is no bickering at all.

“It is easy to go the other way sometimes but we have stuck together and there are the right characters here. It’s obviously been tough but they are a great set of lads and we know we can get things going.”

But he dismisses that the club’s poor start is down to anything else except performances.

“The table doesn’t lie - I’ve never believed it did, and I won’t change that viewpoint because of our current situation,” he added.

“We can’t do feeling sorry for ourselves as it’s not bad fortune that we are where we are.

“It’s not gone as planned but are we throwing the towel in? No way. Our aim at the start of the season wasn’t just survival but only we can get ourselves out of this.

“We played very well at home to Barnet recently and that showed everyone what we’re capable of. It was a great performance

“But we need that more often - and we need to find the same levels in our game week in, week out.

“If we can we will give ourselves a fighting chance. Hopefully we can get another win this weekend on the TV and take it from there.”


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