Adelaide midfielder Ben Keays has established himself as one of the Crows’ top on-ballers since being picked by the Club at the 2019 Rookie Draft.

Keays was delisted by Brisbane before Adelaide gave him a second chance and he has worked hard to gain the respect of his teammates, coaches and the fans since arriving at West Lakes.

The 25-year-old’s ability to overcome setbacks this year hasn’t been by chance.

Speaking to Belinda Sloane on this week’s episode of The Crows Show, Keays said there was one area he has focused on to help.

“I am interested in the high performance space of sport and the mental side of it as well,” Keays said.

“I try and pick the brains of some of the HPT (high performance team) and the guys who are really knowledgeable in that area of sport to see what I can add to my game or my lifestyle that will help me going forward.

“I’m big on delayed gratification - you don’t get the rewards straight away - it’s a culmination of work over the months and even years.

“That’s something I still try to tell myself, even early in my career when I probably wasn’t going the way that I wanted to go, I just kept telling myself that the hard work will pay off in some way.

“I wasn’t sure how, maybe I’m living it a little bit at the moment, but I still think there’s so much more to come both individually and as a group, we’ve got so much more to give.”

"You don’t get the rewards straight away - it’s a culmination of work over the months and even years.

Keays, who finished second in the 2021 Club Champion count, was elevated to the Crows’ leadership group ahead of this season.

He said it was an honour to help lead the young group and not something he took lightly.

“It’s something that I just wanted to be authentic and ever since I got here (to the Crows) I just wanted to work hard and earn respect and whatever else happens, happens,” Keays said.

“It’s a challenge that I’ve loved and there’s still a lot to work on but I’ve enjoyed working in that space.”

Although Keays is known for being one of the hardest workers at the Club, his haircut also gains some attention.

And the tough midfielder reveals where the inspiration for the ‘do comes from.

“I watch a lot of European soccer and steal the trends from there,” Keays said.

“I haven’t seen any mullets going around (in European soccer), so I’m not sure where they come from.

“Rachele is still running it, Ned’s got a little one going on, Rowey’s got one - I think it suits Rowey - he’s got that tough-guy look about him.”

Also on The Crows Show, James Borlase joins Tom Doedee to discuss his Crows Whopper Moment thanks to Hungry Jack's, while Matthew Nicks talks through what improvements the side can make in the second-half of 2022.

The Crows Show airs on Channel 7 this Saturday at 12.30pm.