Ben Keays has grabbed his second chance at AFL level with both hands, producing a ray of light season in an otherwise tough 2020 for Adelaide.
Keays attended Brisbane’s Gregory Terrace, a school known for producing Rugby talent destined for the Wallabies. But his links to Australian Rules run deep with great grandfather Fred Keays playing for both Fitzroy and Collingwood between serving his country in World War 1 and 2. Ben’s father Matt grew up in Melbourne and the love of footy travelled north when the family relocated to Queensland. Ben’s formative years coincided with the Lions back-to-back-to-back Premiership run of 2001-03.
A product of the Brisbane Lions Academy, Keays was selected at 24 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. He would play 30 games over his 4 years with the Lions, playing in 2 NEAFL Premierships including a best afield performance in the 2017 decider. The Adelaide Crows saw value in hard-working mid/forward, providing him with a second opportunity via the 2019 NAB AFL Rookie Draft. He would make his Crows debut in the Showdown upon the recommencement of the 2020 AFL season after the COVID-19 enforced break. Instantly providing Adelaide with a midfield option to nullify the team’s better players while displaying his own ball-winning capabilities, Keays claimed a fifth placed finish in the Malcolm Blight Medal and was subsequently rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
A keen gamer and fan of US Sport, Keays follows Manchester United in the EPL while being a regular at NBL games in either his native Brisbane or Adelaide.
I was so thankful to get a second chance with Adelaide and I wanted to make sure I made the most of the opportunity I was given. Having the faith of my coaches and teammates has helped me play the strongest footy of my career so far.
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