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Keays: "It Would Be A Dream Come True"

October 28, 2015 5:11 PM

Ben Keays looks to AFL Draft Lions Academy product, Ben Keays, spoke to LionsTV about going to the Draft Combine and the possibility of becoming a Lion.

Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy product Ben Keays says it would be ‘a dream come true’ to have his name read out by the Brisbane Lions at next month’s NAB AFL Draft.

Keays moved from Melbourne to Brisbane as a five-year-old in 2002 and grew up as a Lions supporter. His father was a Fitzroy fan, and Keays attended the 2001 Grand Final when the Club won their first of three consecutive premierships.

“It would mean a lot to be drafted by the Club – growing up in Brisbane and being a Brisbane Lions supporter.

“Watching the boys every week as a supporter, it would be great to be a part of the playing list and be involved as a player,” Keays said.

“It would be a dream come true.”

Keays singled out former Lion and now midfield coach, Simon Black, as an idol growing up and through the Lions Academy he has had the opportunity to meet his premiership hero.

“Simon Black was my favourite player of the Lions era just gone,” he said.

“He was just a classy player and a joy to watch. It’s good to be able to run into him in the corridors sometimes and have a chat to him because he is a great fella as well and a legend of the game.”

With the AFL to introduce live bidding for the first time at this year's draft, together with fellow possible top-20 Lions Academy player Eric Hipwood, Keays will experience the bidding system differently to Academy players of the past.

Under the reformed bidding system – which was developed throughout last year – each draft selection is allocated a points value on a sliding scale.

Clubs nominating a player as a father-son or academy draftee will be forced to use their existing draft selections to match the points value of the pick used by the club bidding for the player.

The Lions hold pick No. 2, which they intend to use on the Murray Bushrangers’ Josh Schache along with picks No. 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 and are confident the combined points accumulated from these picks (worth 2147 points) should satisfy bids for Keays and Hipwood. (The Lions also hold picks No. 78, 96 and 114).

“Obviously the goal of every young player is to get picked up (at the Draft) and I’m just waiting for that day now,” Keays said.

“I’m a bit excited and a bit nervous. I’m pretty impatient, I just want to get to it, if I was lucky enough to get picked up.

“I just want to get stuck into an AFL environment and get stuck into pre-season.”

Keays recently returned from the AFL’s Draft Combine held in early October and showcased his work ethic in the 3km time trial, recording 10.09 to finish sixth.

“I got a lot out of the experience,” he said.

“The endurance based testing – the beep test and the three kilometre time trial was the hardest, mentally and physically.

“It was good to get those out of the way towards the end of the week.”

The 18 year-old, who captained Queensland to its division two title at this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and won the Harrison Medal as the best player of the group, said the Draft Combine experience also allowed him the opportunity to meet with the league’s senior coaches.

“I had a few interviews, they were obviously pretty daunting… I got to speak with Luke Beveridge from the Bulldogs. It was good to be able to meet him and speak to a senior AFL coach.”

The 2015 NAB AFL Draft will be held on Tuesday, November 24.