ONE particular player caught my eye as Warrington Wolves' academy team played in the curtain-raiser to the Super League game against London Broncos at Priestfield Stadium in Gillingham five years ago.

A fourth-minute opening try, that was nicely finished off, was backed up by even better longer distance scores as Toby King completed a 28-minute hat-trick.

It was my first look at a player who this week signed an extension to his Super League contract with Wolves and appears set for a bright future in the sport.

Warrington Guardian:

Toby King is congratulated on his hat-trick try for Wolves under 19s against London Broncos in Gillingham on June 8, 2013. Pictures by Mike Boden

King's size, strength, pace and vision all gave me cause to watch him closely on that bright summer's afternoon in Kent, tearing a strip off his opponents as centre to Jack Johnson in a young Wire side that also featured Dec Patton and Joe Philbin.

I set out to learn a little more about his background, with him only having recently switched from Huddersfield Giants.

What did surprise me, considering the qualities he had shown, was that he was a first-year under 19s player - still only 16 years old!

Not only that, but he was in his first season as a centre having made the transition from a stand-off or loose-forward.

Since that day five years ago I've kept a keen eye on the progress of the former Meltham All Blacks junior and found it pleasing that, despite the injuries he has suffered probably having denied him many more Super League appearances than he already he has, The Wire have shown confidence in his future with the new terms agreed yesterday.

Warrington Guardian:

Toby King, on his Super League debut against London Broncos in July, 2014, congratulates Chris Hill on a try

He is not the first young player to have some injury issues, recurring ones at that with his hamstring problems.

Off the top of my head, I recall a certain Mike Wainwright having foot issues and Simon Grix having all sorts of problems - and just look at the service they went on to give Wire and the sport in general.

King clearly has a lot to offer and will only get better.

You don't make your Super League debut a week after your 18th birthday if you don't have what it takes.

He has already played in some big games for the club – scoring twice in the 2016 Challenge Cup semi-final success against Wakefield before going on to appear at centre in the final defeat to Hull at Wembley and then coming off the bench in that year's Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Toby King scoring and celebrating tries against Wakefield in the 2016 Challenge Cup semi final before enjoying a lap of honour with his brother and Wire teammate George

And yet King, who would have walked into the Ireland World Cup team last October had it not been for injury, is still only 21 years old.

Those experiences will all stand him in good stead for the approximate 12 to 13 years of playing career he has left, hopefully all successful ones in primrose and blue.

He isn't the finished article and he would tell you that himself, but I'm told he is highly coachable and absorbs the lessons he learns on the journey he is on – such as in the way he improved his distribution to wing signing Josh Charnley in the second half against Widnes on Good Friday after a few opportunities had gone begging in the opening stanza.

But even then, he impressed in the rest of his game – not only scoring two tries himself, creating two in the second half for Charnley and another for Sitaleki Akauola, but defensively too.

Warrington Guardian:

Arm in arm, Toby King with new wing signing Josh Charnley against Widnes Vikings on Good Friday

His combination with Charnley grew in the wins against Castleford Tigers and Salford Red Devils so it is a great shame that he has suffered a minor hamstring tear that will force him to miss Saturday's home clash with Hull Kingston Rovers.

I like the fact he has a battle on his hands with Bryson Goodwin and Ryan Atkins for a starting spot, because that keeps all three men on their toes and will help to continue to bring the fire, energy and improvements out of King.

Hopefully in the months and years to come we'll get to see some more of his promising link-up play with Charnley and I certainly believe Wire are right to sign up the Yorkshireman for a further 12 months.

And ask yourself this. Is there a better prospect, aged 21, with the experience and talent he has who would also happen to be available to Wire for next year and beyond?

I don't think so.

It's good for Warrington's future that they are seen to be giving their homegrown players opportunities and treating them well, as it encourages others to tread a similar path at a time when producing your own talent has probably never been more important.

And on top of that King seems to me to be well liked by his teammates and fits in, which is important when you consider the part that spirit and camaraderie plays in teams having an edge on their rivals.

Long live the King - I wish him well!