Welcome Rookie Draft Pick #7 - Ben Keays

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Relaxed

Debutant
Feb 3, 2019
138
217
AFL Club
Adelaide
BEN KEAYS

While Keays only managed two AFL games this season, his ability to reinvent himself as a small forward at NEAFL level could pay dividends.

A natural ball magnet, Keays averaged 27 disposals from 2016 to 2018 as a midfielder at NEAFL level. He won the Andrew Ireland Medal for best-on-ground in the Lions’ 2017 grand final triumph over Sydney and was one of four Lions players to win the club’s 2018 reserves best and fairest award.

But Keays, 185cm, made the transition to a small forward role in 2019 and thrived, booting 43.19 from 16 games, including six hauls of four-plus goals. He also averaged 20 touches, 4.8 marks and an elite 8.4 score involvements, according to Champion Data.

Keays, who was taken at Pick 24 in the 2015 draft, only recently returned from an overseas holiday to the US, so the process of finding a new footy home will commence shortly. At 22, he still has a burning desire to play on at AFL level, with his versatility — which includes being able to perform defensive roles — set to put him in good stead.

Lynch said Keays was the ultimate professional, adding his workrate and attitude to training can’t be faulted.

“He was a very good midfielder at NEAFL level, but the transition into the AFL was going to be pretty limited in the midfield, so he needed to find something up forward. That’s probably now his best position at AFL level,” he said.

“His pace might be the issue plus continuing to work on being clean with his hands at AFL level, but he finds the ball a lot and, from everything I’ve heard, the way he presents himself and trains, he’s very ‘coachable’.”

Clubs that should consider him: As a versatile player that can play either in the guts or up forward, Keays would be an appropriate fit at Port Adelaide, especially considering he’s only 22. Adelaide might also consider him, while Gold Coast could do with another small forward, which would mean the Queensland product wouldn’t have to move interstate.

 

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BlackGun1

All Australian
Oct 13, 2007
993
1,120
Qld
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
As an immediate family member I can assure you you’ve just drafted a guy who will give 110% every training session, treat every fan and staff member with respect and will be a huge addition to the locker room.

Not blessed with top end talent but has made the very most of what he has. Played some very good junior footy too and showed plenty of improvement at AFL level the last 2 years but couldn’t get a good run at it. Looking forward to jumping on board
 

Mr_Moogle

Brownlow Medallist
May 29, 2011
11,012
15,779
SA
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Sturt
As an immediate family member I can assure you you’ve just drafted a guy who will give 110% every training session, treat every fan and staff member with respect and will be a huge addition to the locker room.

Not blessed with top end talent but has made the very most of what he has. Played some very good junior footy too and showed plenty of improvement at AFL level the last 2 years but couldn’t get a good run at it. Looking forward to jumping on board
Please pass on our best wishes to Ben. :thumbsu:
 

WaynesWorld19

TheBrownDog
Nov 6, 2003
73,474
71,198
Baghdad
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
West Adelaide, Baghdad Bombers
I'm not sure he's too slow at all, they just replaced him with Neale who's a better player...... and slower
So why was his role confined to a small fwd in the NEAFL ??

Can't have M.Crouch, Sloane & another slow in midfield ....that was amply discussed at the end of the season

Give me McAdam, Stengle, or even Crocker up fwd ......what's Keays #1 wood ?
 

hey shorty

Hall of Famer
Jun 15, 2005
48,115
38,380
Where the Hills have eyes
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
AUFC, Everton, Sturt
So why was his role confined to a small fwd in the NEAFL ??

Can't have M.Crouch, Sloane & another slow in midfield ....that was amply discussed at the end of the season

Give me McAdam, Stengle, or even Crocker up fwd ......what's Keays #1 wood ?
Keays is quicker than Mrouch and Sloane too.
 

FantasticShirt

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 6, 2010
5,363
8,970
Melbourne + Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
Don’t mind this pick at all. Thought he showed glimpses of afl quality in the games I saw. Decent depth at worst.

As an immediate family member I can assure you you’ve just drafted a guy who will give 110% every training session, treat every fan and staff member with respect and will be a huge addition to the locker room.

Not blessed with top end talent but has made the very most of what he has. Played some very good junior footy too and showed plenty of improvement at AFL level the last 2 years but couldn’t get a good run at it. Looking forward to jumping on board
Thanks for posting. Good to hear
 

BACCS

BigFooty Juggernaut
May 10, 2009
41,308
19,133
Adelaide Oval
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Gary Putland, Redbacks, Oz Cricket
Thought he showed a good ability to find the goals at AFL level. Whether he can bring the midfield traits to this level remains to be seen, but with only 4 years in the system there’s plenty of development scope left.
 

BACCS

BigFooty Juggernaut
May 10, 2009
41,308
19,133
Adelaide Oval
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Gary Putland, Redbacks, Oz Cricket
If their rationale is mature depth in SANFL to protect the kids then fair enough.

Of course no one has ever drafted guns in the rookie draft so who cares.
He’s 22 and was drafted 10 picks after Doedee, that’s hardly over the hill and past his prime.
 

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