THE MATTHEW Nicks era at Adelaide will start with the Crows unveiling at least five new faces in their opening game of the Marsh Community Series against Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday.

Former Port Adelaide ruck/forward Billy Frampton, mature-age rookie draft recruits Ben Crocker and Ben Keays, along with second-year key defender Jordon Butts and exciting forward Shane McAdam, are included in the 26-player squad.

MARSH EYE-CATCHERS Players to watch, players missing

Keays, 22, played 30 games in four seasons with Brisbane before delisted at the end of last year.

THE TIM KELLY ROAD? Cats to launch mature-aged rookie in Marsh clash

After being thrown a lifeline by the Crows in the rookie draft, Keays said he was excited to get an early run with his new club.

Ben Keays in action for the Lions in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

"It feels pretty weird at the moment, it hasn't sunk in yet, but it'll be good to pull on the jersey and it's just a new beginning that I've been hanging out for," Keays said.

"Hopefully, I'll go through the midfield, whether that's on the wing or inside, and probably spend a bit of time forward as well.


02:49 Mins
Published on

Marsh Series Fantasy watchlist

Calvin names fives players he's keeping an eye on over the Marsh Community Series

Published on

"I came in later than everyone else in the rookie draft, so had less time to find my feet, so wanted to use my experience of being on a list before to hit the ground running and burn up the track.

"It's good to get the reward playing Marsh one."

Keays only managed two senior games with the Lions last year, but he's keen on bouncing back from the disappointment of getting cut.

"Being delisted is deflating, but being picked up again by this club was a massive refresher and confidence boost, so my confidence is back to where it was," he said.

"I've loved it so far, so (playing in round one) is absolutely my goal.

"There's a lot of good players here, especially in the midfield, so it's a fight that I'm up for."

01:20 Mins
Published on

'It cuts you deep': Betts' personal link to loss of bushfire heroes

Eddie Betts explains his sadness at the loss of a recent friendship in the bushfire crisis

Published on

Frampton was traded to the Crows after playing three games in five seasons with the Power, while Crocker was cut from Collingwood after 26 games from 2016-19.

McAdam struggled with injuries in his first season at the Crows last year, but the 24-year-old was a standout in last weekend's intra-club game.

"He's got footy smarts and he shows up in the right spots," Keays said.

"He's a bit of a weapon up forward, so it will be interesting to see him unleashed and see what he can do."

Butts also gets his opportunity on the back of a strong summer and impressive SANFL form last year in his first year at the club.

"He's a quite unassuming character, but he's been fantastic," Keays said.

"He's a big intercept defender, good one on one as well, reads the game really well and he's a mature body."