Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks has described rookie recruit Ben Keays as the “ultimate team player”.

Keays joined the Crows from Brisbane at the end of 2019 and has locked down a place in Nicks’ best 22 this season.

The versatile midfielder has played all but one game in 2020, spending time in the midfield and spells as the Club’s dedicated tagger.

“He’s had a fantastic year,” Nicks told The Optus Crows Show.

“From a fitting in point of view, he’s been a really important part of what we’ve been about.

“Our philosophy is about seeking the contest, and there’s not many better than Ben Keays.

“He’s played well and above our expectation, we couldn’t be more pleased with what he’s brought.”

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Keays own beliefs reflect what Nicks has said about the 23-year-old.

“I’ve always been someone who is willing to put in the hard yards,” Keays said.

“I want to be one of the guys doing their best work when the game is on the line… I always want to contribute.

“It’s been a challenging year, but I’ve come out the other side and found some real positives.

“I think I’ve still got a lot of improvement to go (and) there is so much more growing I’ve got to do.”

The Optus Crows Show airs on Channel 7 in Adelaide on Sunday at 12pm, before the Adelaide-Carlton clash.

Interstate fans can catch the full episode on afc.com.au shortly after.